Did you know that where and how you store your extra virgin olive oil can have a huge effect on its lifespan? Believe it or not, storing extra virgin olive oil by your stove or oven (two of the most common places for many) can damage the oil due to the heat and this can cut its overall lifespan nearly in half! Although keeping your extra virgin olive oil nearby to where you prepare your meals is by far one of the most convenient, there are far better ways to store extra virgin olive oil.
At O-Live & Co., we understand the importance of storing extra virgin olive oil the proper way and are firm believers in the benefits of proper storage. Today, we will be explaining how to store extra virgin olive oil in a way that keeps it fresher and tastier for even longer. With our tips, you can maintain the life of your extra virgin olive oil, ensuring that you always have a fresh and delicious cooking oil on hand for your favorite dishes. With that, let’s get started!
Factors That Determine the Freshness of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Before we get to explaining how to best store extra virgin olive oil for peak freshness, it is crucial that you have an understanding of the factors that determine the quality of your extra virgin olive oil. There are, in total, four different factors that play a role in how long your extra virgin olive oil stays fresh and these should be considered when thinking about the right way to store your oil. Here’s what you should keep in mind when storing extra virgin olive oil:
Oxygen determines how long food stays fresh. This is because oxygen enhances the growth of microorganisms, such as yeasts and molds. These microorganisms work to break down food, deteriorating vitamins, flavors, and more. For this reason, oxygen must either be minimized or completely eliminated when storing extra virgin olive oil in order to maintain freshness for longer.
According to a study completed by Australian scientists, exposure to light can cause a measurable loss of antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil, causing increased rancidity compared to olive oil stored in darker settings. For this reason, exposure to light should be kept to a minimum.
In the same aforementioned study, scientists determined that oils stored at higher temperatures decline more rapidly in terms of quality and freshness than those stored at lower temperatures. The optimal storage temperature for extra virgin olive oil is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Much in the same way that time plays a crucial role in the quality of O-Live & Co.’s extra virgin olive oil in the production process, you will want to consume your extra virgin olive oil in a reasonably timely manner. We highly recommend using your extra virgin olive oil within one to three months of opening to maintain the highest degree of freshness.
Tips for Storing Extra Virgin Olive Oil the Right Way
Now that you have an understanding of the various factors that play a role in the freshness of your olive oil, it is likely that you have questions concerning the right way to store extra virgin olive oil. Luckily, O-Live & Co. is here with a few tips you can use to store your olive oil properly. Here’s how!
Store Extra Virgin Olive Oil Out of Direct Lighting
Let’s start with lighting. As stated, direct lighting can have profoundly negative effects on the overall quality of your extra virgin olive oil. This is due to the fact that ultraviolet rays can wear down olive oil as time goes on, leading to diminished quality and freshness.
In order to ensure that your extra virgin olive oil lasts longer, it is highly recommended to store it in a cool, dark, and dry cupboard where it is protected from direct light. This means avoiding storing extra virgin olive oil by windows where sunlight beams down on it.
It is also recommended to store your extra virgin olive oil in a glass bottle that is dark in color as this minimizes the amount of light that is able to make direct contact with the oil itself. Luckily, O-Live & Co. extra virgin olive oil is packaged in a dark green bottle, minimizing the impact that light can have!
Store Extra Virgin Olive Oil Away From Heat Sources
It is also crucial that you store extra virgin olive oil away from heat sources. This means choosing a storage area that is as far away from the stove as possible. As highlighted, the recommended temperature for storing extra virgin olive oil is between roughly 65 and 75 degrees so it is important that it is being stored as close to room temperature as possible. The closer that your extra virgin olive oil is stored to heat sources like stoves and ovens, the less likely it is that it will maintain its freshness. Think ahead!
Cut Down on Air Exposure
Now that we have addressed both the light and temperature factors that affect the freshness of extra virgin olive oil, it’s time to talk about eliminating exposure to oxygen. Upon opening a bottle of O-Live & Co. extra virgin olive oil, be sure to secure it with a cap or lid after each and every use. Extra virgin olive oil that is left exposed to oxygen for too long is sure to eventually turn rancid so it is crucial to be proactive. Always check to make sure that your bottle of extra virgin olive oil is closed after each use to boost the life of your oil.
Don’t Let Your Olive Oil Sit For Too Long
Finally, let’s address the final factor that plays a role in the life of your extra virgin olive oil: time. Although it is common for many people to purchase a bottle of fine extra virgin olive oil in order to save it for a special dish or occasion, it is highly recommended that you use your oil sooner rather than later.
Every month that goes by brings extra virgin olive oil closer to losing freshness so it is vital that you use up your oil within three to six months. By this time, it is likely that the oil will have gone rancid, becoming ill-equipped for use. While we always recommend keeping O-Live & Co. extra virgin olive oil stocked up in your kitchen, it is important that you use it in a timely manner. Think of this as an excuse to use extra virgin olive oil with your favorite dishes even more often!