Does olive oil go bad?by Berk Bahceci
If you're a fan of olive oil, you may be wondering how long your precious bottle can last before it goes bad. We receive this question a lot, and so we decided to write about it. The short answer is yes, olive oil can go bad like any other oil, but the good news is that it can also last for a long time if certain conditions are met.
Rancidity is a process that occurs when the fatty acids in the oil break down and release free radicals, which can cause the oil to become sour and unpalatable. Exposure to light, heat, and oxygen can all accelerate the rancidity process. That's why it's important to control these factors at the production and bottling stages.
Before bottling, the oil must be stored in stainless steel tanks at a temperature of 12-18 degrees Celsius. These tanks come in various sizes, and if they're not completely filled with oil, oxygen may remain in the tank, leading to rancidity. To prevent this, food-grade nitrogen must be pumped into the tank to remove oxygen.
It's also important to buy from transparent producing-brands, such as Heraclea, because non-producing brands may not know if the oil was stored properly. This way, you can be sure that your olive oil is of high quality and has been stored correctly.
During the bottling stage, there are additional considerations to ensure a long shelf life for olive oil. First, the oil should be stored in UV-coated glass bottles to prevent direct light exposure. Second, the bottles must contain little to no oxygen, which is achieved by pumping nitrogen into the bottle to remove any remaining oxygen. Third, plastic bottles should never be used as they can result in micro plastics in the oil and affect its taste.
If these conditions are met, olive oil can be consumed for up to 24-36 months after the date of harvest. However, for maximum freshness and flavor, we recommend consuming it within 24 months of harvest. Once you open and start using an olive oil, we recommend consuming it within 3 months for maximum enjoyment. Also, don't store your olive oil right next to your stove top, as heat from cooking will likely contribute to rancidity. When you pay top-dollar for high quality olive oil, make sure you're storing your olive oil correctly to enjoy it at its best!