Keeping Olive Oil Fresh
By Camilla Brown
Fresh extra virgin olive oil delivers a wonderful flavor and legendary health benefits. To ensure that your olive oil maintains optimum freshness and flavor, there are a few things you can do to store it properly.
Avoid Heat, Light, and Air
When olive oil is exposed to heat, light, and air the valuable nutrients in the oil begin to oxidize andit will begin to lose its fruit flavors. When buying extra virgin olive oil, look for those packaged in opaque or tinted glass. Or, try pouring olive oil into a clean used red wine bottle equipped with a spout. Do not store olive oil in plastic containers, as the oil can leach harmful substances out of the plastic.
Don’t Store Olive Oil Too Long
Olive oil should be consumed within two years of pressing. Any longer, and the flavors deteriorate and the nutrients degrade. Every month that olive oil ages, the acidity levels increase, a result of oxidization. Extra-virgin olive oils have the potential to last longer than other grades because they have a lower acidity. Buy your olive oil fresh from a supplier, or specialty retailer with high turnover. Pick a bottle from the back of the shelf where it has been shielded from harsh lights. Check the date of pressing if there is one, and abide by expiration dates.
Maybe most importantly, use extra virgin olive oil liberally. You’ll have a healthier diet and your supply will always be fresh.
This article was last updated October 13, 2010 - 6:51 PM (GMT-5)