Prevent Olive Oil Spoilage

How to store olive oil to avoid spoilage

Olive oil is has become known for its healthful benefits. Knowing how to store olive oil properly can preserve its nutritional value and avoid spoilage. Olive oil is an expensive commodity for both stores and restaurants. It is wise to maintain this costly asset. What can a store or restaurant do to help prevent spoilage while maintaining the health benefits and the taste of different types of olive oil?

Why Choose Olive Oil for your Health?

Olive oil is one of the healthier choices of oils. When compared to other common oils such as corn, canola or safflower, it has the highest level of monounsaturated fat. Unadulterated virgin and extra-virgin olive oils have a relatively high phenol content. Phenols are powerful antioxidants that remove body-damaging free radicals. Olive oil made through a cold-press process maintains the highest level of these phenols. The health benefits make it an attractive oil to cook with and so storing olive oil properly is a high priority.

Proper Olive Oil Storage Temperature

Knowing how to store olive oil for maximum quality is important. When olive oil is exposed to oxygen, light, and heat, it may become rancid. Proper storage can prevent this. Industry experts recommend storing the oil at between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit for best results. Storing it at the usual room temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit can be acceptable but may make minor changes in the taste, especially when unheated and consumed without any additions. If your kitchen is routinely warmer than 70 degrees, refrigerate the oil for best quality but remember that refrigerated olive oil will solidify and turn cloudy at cold temperatures.

Room Temperature Storage for Cooking

Refrigeration is best for long-term storage of all olive oils except premium extra-virgin ones. If used for cooking, consider keeping a small amount of olive oil in a sealed container at room temperature in your kitchen. This way, your olive oil is instantly ready to use. Tinted glass that keeps air and light out is an ideal container; avoid plastic, as the oil may leach harmful substances from it. Keep the oil in a dark place, away from the stove and other heat producers. Put the remaining oil in refrigeration.

Dealing with Refrigerated Olive Oil

Storing olive oil in the fridge does not alter the health benefits or nutritional value, but finicky consumers often choose not to purchase cloudy oils. Returning the olive oil to room temperature for a short time restores its liquid texture and color. You don’t want to “melt” the entire refrigerated supply of oil each time you want to use some, so another option is to refrigerate the olive oil in a wide-mouth glass jar. Even though it solidifies, you can easily spoon out any amount you need. Clear jars are fine for this purpose, as it is dark in the refrigerator most of the time.

Does Olive Oil Improve with Age?

Unlike wine, oil does not improve with age. As olive oil gets older, it gradually breaks down and the acidity level rises, and flavor weakens. You’ll get the best quality and flavor from your olive oil if you use it or sell it within one year.

The best way to maintain the quality of your expensive oils is to maintain the temperatures of storage locations. When refrigerated, make sure the temperatures never rise too high. When stored at room temperature, make sure that temperature is not above 70 degrees. Many restaurants and retail stores keep their expensive oils from spoiling by using automated temperature monitoring and alarms to prevent spoilage. For more information on how you can automatically keep your olive oil safe, request a demo in the header above.