Buying the best olive oil is worthless if you won’t store it properly. Olive oil, if not stored correctly, will lose its ingredients, especially antioxidants such as polyphenols. Today, I’ll show you how to properly store olive oil after opening, so that it can be fresh for an extended period.
After opening, you should store olive oil in a dark glass, inox, or ceramic bottle. The bottle should be stored in a place protected from the sunlight, with temperatures between 57 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (14 to 18 Celsius). That way, olive oil will stay fresh for longer.
That’s the short answer, however, there are a few more things you should pay attention to. I’ll thoroughly describe everything below, so make sure to read the whole article, just to make sure you won’t make any mistakes.
Prevention Step: Avoid Buying in Large Bottles
Before anything, I’d like to talk about buying olive oil in bulk. If you and your family don’t spend plenty of olive oil during the month, you shouldn’t be buying large amounts of it upfront.
After you open the bottle of olive oil, you should spend the oil in 30 to 60 days. That’s the range where the oil will be as fresh as possible.
So, if you spend ca. 1 liter of olive oil per month, you should avoid buying anything larger than that. I know many people that buy larger containers with 5 liters of olive oil, and then they keep it open for 5-6 months.
However, olive oils in larger containers/bottles are usually more affordable options, and that’s why most people buy them. If you do the same, you should then buy the olive oil in the bag-in-box option.
The bag-in-box keeps the oil fresh for a long time because no oxygen or fresh air can get into it, and also it’s protected from the sunlight and other external environments. Just make sure to keep it in a proper temperature range.
Store It in Dark Glass or Inox Bottles
Most olive oils are sold in dark green glass bottles, and that’s probably the easiest way to store olive oil. Dark green bottles don’t let sunlight inside, which is essential if you want to keep the olive oil fresh for a long time.
Another thing you can do is store olive oil in inox bottles or containers. Inox bottles or containers are the best possible solution to store olive oil. They’re completely opaque, and inox can’t release any sort of chemicals which are often released when olive oil is stored in PVC bottles.
Another great thing for storing olive oil are ceramic bottles. They’re completely natural, and they’ll keep the olive oil as fresh as possible, for a long period of time.
So, to conclude, you should store olive oil in these:
- Dark glass bottles
- Inox bottles
- Ceramic bottles
You should avoid storing olive oil in PVC bottles or containers since olive oil has some nutrients that may dissolve some of the PVCs’ harmful chemicals.
So, if you even buy olive oil in PVC (which I don’t recommend in the first place), you should pour it into some glass container, or even better, an inox container, and then store it.
What I like to do is buy an extremely dark glass bottle, or an inox bottle, and always use it to store olive oil. So, whenever you spend it, you can refill the bottle with the new oil.
Make Sure The Bottle Cap Is Tightly Closed
Many people forget to tightly close the bottle cap. That way, oxygen will always find its way of getting into the bottle and affecting the olive oils’ taste, flavor, and freshness.
Bottle caps should be tightened properly, so no air/oxygen can get into the bottle. That’s extremely important if you use olive oil on a daily basis, which I highly recommend.
Don’t Keep Olive Oil In The Fridge
When I said that olive oil should be in a dark place, without sunlight, and with temperatures up to 18 degrees Celsius, you have probably thought of the fridge.
Keeping the olive oil in the fridge is a no-no. You should avoid doing that. If you keep the olive oil below 10 degrees Celsius (50 F) temperatures for a long time, it may crystalize, which will then reduce the amount of polyphenols – the most important antioxidant in olive oil. We want more of it, not less.
If you keep the olive oil below 4 degrees Celsius (39 F), it may even completely freeze. We don’t want that to happen either, because of the same reason as with crystalization.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is extremely sensitive to low temperatures, and you should never keep it in the fridge. Other types of olive oil are more resistant, and you can keep them in a fridge with controlled temperature (above 50 Fahrenheit).
Related: Does Heating Olive Oil Make It Unhealthy? (Answered)
So, to conclude, don’t keep olive oil in the fridge, it’s bad for olive oil (especially extra virgin) and will reduce the amount of healthy nutrients in it.
Know Your Needs
You should know your average consumption of olive oil inside your family. I recommend you only buy olive oil supplies for up to two months. So, if you spend 2 liters of olive oil per month, don’t ever buy packaging that’s larger than 4 liters.
As I already said above, once the bottle of olive oil is opened, it should be spent in the period between 30 and 60 days at max.
I think that 1 liter of olive oil will be enough for most people to go through the month, or even two. I would like people to consume even more olive oil, but the reality is that only 1 liter per capita is spent in a year in the USA.
Mediterranean countries spend much more on olive oil, and that’s a good thing. Olive oil consumption is on an upwards trend in the USA, and I hope it won’t stop increasing.
So, again, know your needs, and don’t buy more than you can consume. The best option is to find some local olive growers and buy olive oil from them directly. They’ll keep it properly stored, and you’ll usually get much better olive oil than in any market.
Frequently Asked Questions
I decided to quickly write some frequently asked questions that you may want answers to.
How long is olive oil good after opening?
After opening the bottle of olive oil, you should consume it within 30 to 60 days. In that time period, it won’t lose any healthy ingredients. However, it can last up to 6 months, but with a reduced amount of nutrients.
How long is bottled olive oil shelf life?
Bottled olive oil (unopened) should be spent within 18 to 24 months of the harvest date. So, make sure to always check the harvest date on the bottle, and make sure it’s certified.
How to know if olive oil has gone bad?
Fresh olive oil will have some grass and fruity smell, while bad olive oil may have a smell and taste similar to crayons, or rotten nuts. So, smell the oil, if it reminds you of crayons or rotten nuts, it’s gone bad. Also, you can taste it, if it feels extremely oily, and there’s no pleasant taste, it’s gone bad too.
Can I consume expired olive oil?
Consuming expired olive is not dangerous, however, it won’t have any health benefits, and will also ruin the taste of your food.
What to do with expired olive oil?
You can use expired olive oil for many things, instead of consuming it. One of the great ways to use expired olive oil is for your skin, it may help you with irritation and dry skin. Here are 12 fantastic things you can do with expired olive oil.
Even though olive oil can last up to 6 months after opening, experts recommend spending it within 60 days. Within those 60 days, olive oil won’t degrade in any of the important antioxidants and other healthy ingredients.
The good thing is that nothing bad can happen if you accidentally consume expired olive oil, except it will ruin the taste of the food, and won’t have many health benefits.
So, make sure to check the harvest date, and always buy as fresh olive oil as possible, so that you can slowly consume it over a period of two months (60 days).