How to keep your extra virgin olive oil fresh

Olive oil has been a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years. The warm climate of the region fosters the growing of this healthful fruit. Virgin or extra virgin, filtered or unfiltered, olive oil is the juice obtained from this fruit, and its flavor, which is sometimes spicy and intense, sometimes sweet and fruity, makes it an ideal seasoning for any recipe.

Rich in phenolic compounds, olive oil is one of those rare foods that do not expire. Consequently, it is not labeled with a ‘use by’ date but with a ‘best before’ date because the oil loses its health benefits after some time. You may have already opened your oil botte, and it tastes rancid and unpleasant when you taste it. It may not be harmful for your health, but to prevent this from happening and keep this liquid gold for as long as possible, here are some storage tips.

How to store olive oil properly?

Keep it at a constant room temperature

The ideal temperature to store olive oil fluctuates between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius. Therefore, it is highly recommended not to leave the bottle on your kitchen countertop but rather to keep it away from heat sources, as the latter may destroy the oil texture due to the evaporation of the alcohols naturally present in the liquid. Its chemical composition is also changed, and it loses its health properties.

On the contrary, low temperatures do not harm olive oil. However, some white solid particles may form when the oil cools down too much but melt as soon as it is returned to a stable room temperature.

Do not expose it directly at the sun

Sunrays quickens oil oxidation. Therefore, you must store your bottle in a dark place such as a cupboard.

This is also why most oils come into dark bottles or metal tins.

Oxygen is its worst enemy – make sure to always close the lid properly

Although olive oil contains a lot of natural antioxidants, it is important to always close its container properly after each us to prevent oxidation and keep it fresh and tasty.

Besides, we recommend you to use an oilcan for everyday use and leave the rest in its original container, so it remains in good condition for longer.

Keep away from strong smells

Olive oil tends to absorb strong odours, which can considerably change its original taste and smell. For this reason, it is best to keep olive oil away from foods with strong odours.

Does olive oil go bad or expire?

Olive oil is one of those rare foods that does not have an expiry date, but rather a “best before” date, after which it begins to lose its beneficial properties. In addition, if not stored properly, it can develop rancid flavours that are not palatable.

The oil generally preserves its healthy properties between one and a half and two years, depending on the olive variety. In the case of extra virgin olive oil, this can extend to three years due to its premium quality.

It is not only the storage conditions that affect the shelf life of the oil, but also the varieties used for its extraction. Varieties with a higher amount of polyphenols, such as cornicabra or picual, extend the shelf life of the oil.

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