Does extra virgin olive oil deteriorate? Here are some useful tips to keep it at its best

Does extra virgin olive oil deteriorate? Here are some useful tips to keep it at its best
Does extra virgin olive oil deteriorate? Here are some useful tips to keep it at its best
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Extra virgin olive oil is one of the components par excellence of the Mediterranean diet. In addition to its great nutritional value it is an easily perishable food. Here are some useful storage tips.

Extra virgin olive oil (EVO) is the main Source of fat in the Mediterranean diet. Certainly it should be used in moderation about two tablespoons a day.

We know very well that it can be used both raw and for cooking for its high heat resistance.

Extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols, tocopherols, polyphenols and pigments, and therefore there are numerous beneficial effects on health.

In addition to the great gastronomic and health value, extra virgin olive oil is subject to some fragility which leads to deterioration

This implies that the oil must be preserved. There are some enemies that damage its properties such as light, heat sources and air.

But What are the tips to keep it properly?

Here are some useful tips for keeping extra virgin olive oil at home in the best possible way.

Before knowing the tips for best preserving extra virgin olive oil at home, it is advisable to know some physical and chemical characteristics of the food.

Oil is a liquid fat consisting mostly of triglycerides. It is obtained through the olive milling process and after extraction it must rest to facilitate its clarification.

Only after this short period of rest can it be transferred to containers for food use which will contain it until it is consumed.

The first thing to know to best preserve olive oil is related to the main cause of deterioration. Time and aging processes of olive oil cause deterioration of nutritional properties and qualities.

So it’s very important consume the oil within the indicated time from the manufacturer. In technical jargon we speak of minimum conservation time (TMC).

During this period the product keeps its chemical-physical and organoleptic properties unaltered.

The peak of taste is reached between three to eight months. After twelve months the taste tends to deteriorate, even if the maximum limit for consumption should not exceed 18 months from bottling.


In addition to time, pay attention to the storage temperature. The optimal one is between 12 and 18°C.

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This implies that it is advisable to keep the oil away from heat sources but also from temperatures that are too low, therefore avoiding external cabinets and places that are too cold.

The oil must also be protected from artificial light. Therefore avoid contact with light, direct, indirect and artificial, so as to avoid alteration of taste and of colour.

Better then opaque or dark containers, fresh and closed sideboards and the containers containing the oil must be kept away from any aromas.

Another enemy element of olive oil is oxygen, this because it oxidizes the fatty acids and alters their chemical composition.

Therefore it is appropriate avoid half-empty and poorly sealed containers. Furthermore, the product should not be kept for too long in containers that are too large and the containers should be closed immediately after use.

As for the receptacles, the ideal ones must fix the food from the air, from light and high temperatures, without releasing unwanted substances.

Preferred storage materials are stainless steel but also tin and dark glass.

The stainless steel it has the advantage of totally protecting from light and they are also used by producers for storage.

Another material, used above all for domestic consumption is the tinwhich has similar properties to steel but is certainly lighter.

For small quantities it is better to prefer the dark glass or porcelain cruets.

In addition to where to place it in the house and in the containers, the cleaning of the containers containing the product must be well taken care of. the small oil cruets of the house must be periodically emptied and washed and must be dried before being filled.

These have been banned from catering with the law 161 of 30 October 2014, article 18, paragraph 1 c. Closed, labeled and non-refillable containers are preferred to them.

The article is in Italian

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