Olive Oil Storage Tips

How to Care for your Olive Oil

The worst enemies for your carefully sourced Ultra Premium-certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil are light, heat and oxygen. Bright light and exposure to air will deteriorate the quality of your Olive Oil, and oxidation will cause it to go rancid. Most premium Olive Oils will have a “shelf life” of 12 to 18 months from the time of initial harvest and bottling, but should be consumed much sooner once opened. Ideally, your oils should be consumed as close to the harvest date as possible to enjoy their freshness, flavours, and to take full advantage of all its health benefits. We recommend enjoying your oils within 6 months.To ensure you are getting the maximum health benefits from your Olive Oil, be sure to do the following:

  • Add Olive Oil to foods immediately after cooking.
  • Buy and store your oil in airtight non-transparent containers.
  • The best storage containers for Olive Oil are those that will keep light out and are made of either dark glass or stainless steel like our fusti.
  • Always avoid any plastic, and iron or copper containers. Olive Oil will absorb PVCs from the plastic, and will react chemically with iron or copper creating toxic compounds.
  • Small containers are better than large containers. With small containers, you are more likely to consume your oil in a quicker time, preventing prolonged exposure to air with every use.
  • If your oil is in a clear glass container, store it in a dark cupboard away from direct sunlight.
  • Store your Olive Oil in a cool place (not near your stove), and ideally between 18 °C to 20 °C ( 64 °F to 68 °F). Crystallization of your oil will occur below 14 °C ( 57 °F) but will disappear again when it’s returned to room temperature, with no harm done to the oil itself.
  • At 28 °C ( 82 °F) oil releases all its aromas and flavours; warming a small spoon or bowl filled with oil in your hands can accomplish this.

Signs of an “Expired” Olive Oil

As Olive Oil ages, it continually degrades, the acidity level rises, and polyphenols diminish. The 3 key indicators for determining an Olive Oil that is no longer suitable for consumption are:

  • A “wine” smell or taste
  • Rancidity
  • A metallic flavour (noticeable when stored in a reactive metal container such as iron or copper)
  • A "musty" smell
  • A "flat" taste or a very oily taste, with no noticeable "life" flavour, fruitiness present
  • A "greasy" taste

Another sign of a poor state is that the oil has absorbed the odours and flavours of items surrounding it, even if not in direct contact with them.

“Old Wine – New Oil”

Most wines improve with age, but this is not true for Olive Oil. As olive oil ages, it will eventually deteriorate, facilitating the formation of more free oleic acid. Flavour will inevitably weaken, as the acidity level gets higher. Premium extra virgin Olive Oils will hold their qualities better because they have a low acidity level to start with, as well as a higher polyphenol count. In olive oils, polyphenols act in a similar way to tannins in wine. As mentioned earlier, most premium Olive Oils will have a “shelf life” of 12 to 18 months from the time of initial harvest and bottling, but should be consumed much sooner once opened. We suggest enjoying your oils within 6 months of purchase for optimal flavour and health benefits. Our oils are sourced from both hemispheres to feature young oils more than once a year.

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