The two most important things to consider when storing olive oil is where and how you keep it as olive oil has three main enemies - light, heat and oxygen.
- Once you open an olive bottle, use it within a month. Just like a bottle of wine, the moment you open a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, oxygen starts flooding it, and the degradation process begins. Therefore, it is good to buy extra virgin olive oil in small quantities and replace it more frequently than buy larger bottles.
- Store your olive oil bottle away from direct light and heat, preferably in a dark, cool and dry cupboard or storage area. Next to your stove is NOT the place, no matter how fast you finish your olive oil bottle.
- Buy olive oil in a dark-coloured glass bottle or stainless steel containers as they protect the olive oil from the light.
- Extra virgin olive oil doesn't like too hot or too cold temperatures. The perfect temperature for storing olive oil is 14-16ºC. However, an average room temperature of 21ºC works very well if you keep olive oil in the dark area where the temperature stays relatively constant.
- Do not transfer extra virgin olive oil in reactive metals (iron or copper) containers. The chemical reaction between the olive oil and those metals will damage the oil; also, it may create toxins.
- Do not store extra virgin olive oil in plastic containers because the oil may absorb PVCs from the plastic.
- C. Sanmartin, F. Venturi, C. Sgherri, et al. The effects of packaging and storage temperature on the shelf-life of extra virgin olive oil, 2018
- D. Putier, How Packaging Influences Olive Oil Quality, 2014