Olive oil's storage
Olive oil can be kept longer than any other edible oil, and if stored properly it will take years before it becomes rancid. Of course, quality of olive oil does matter, as refined oils of lower grades could have a shelf life of 6 months or less. On the other hand, high quality olive oils are rich in polyphelons, which apart from the health benefits they offer, they can also give a shelf life that is considerably longer.
The following paragraphs contain useful information on how to store your olive oil products, and how to tell when they are no longer desirable for consumption. For more tips and other helpful advice on how to make the most out of olive oil, you can sign up for our electronic newsletter.Quick index:
- Storage containers
- Locations for storage
- Temperature for storage
- Expected shelf life
- How to tell when olive oil has expired
The best containers for storage are glass (especially tinted glass), ceramic, porcelain, or non-reactive metals such as stainless steel. Do not store olive oil in containers made of reactive metals such as copper or iron. The chemical reaction between the olive oil and the metal will damage the oil and may produce toxins. Olive oil should not be stored in plastic containers because the oil may absorb PVC's from the plastic.
Olive oil will oxidize rapidly if it is not kept in a sealed container. If olive oil is stored in a bottle, always replace the cap on the bottle and keep it tightly sealed. Never put olive oil in a container that does not have a tight cap or some other method of sealing the container.
Locations for Storage
Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place like a cellar where the temperature is cool and constant. If you want to use a kitchen cabinet, make sure it's away from the stove and not exposed to direct sunlight.
Olive oil can be refrigerated without significantly affecting its quality or flavor. Note that it will become cloudy and congeal in the refrigerator, but it will return to its original, liquid state when warmed to room temperature.
Temperature for Storage
The ideal temperature for storing olive oil is 13°C (57°F), although a normal room temperature of 21°C (70ºF) works very well if the olive oil is stored in a dark area where the temperature remains fairly constant. Olive oil will solidify at 2°C (36ºF), but it will return to a liquid state as soon as the temperature rises. In colder weather, olive oil may turn cloudy, especially if the temperature of the storage area falls below 10°C (50ºF).
Expected shelf life
Our olive oil should last at least for two years, assuming that it is properly stored. However, it has the best flavor, and it's more beneficial to your health, when it is used within a year after its extraction date. Note that if olive oil is consumed after its expiration date, it will not be harmful but it will have an unpleasant odor and taste. If you want to know how to tell when your olive oil has expired, please read the following paragraph.
As olive oil ages, it continually degrades and the acidity level rises. Three key signs which indicate that olive oil is no longer desirable for consumption are:
- A wine smell or taste
- A metallic flavor (especially if stored in a container made with reactive metal)