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    How Long Does Olive Oil Last? (Explained)

    From giant jugs to small batches of bottles, aisles of olive oil roam in the supermarket. You may get some olive oil for better health, but the question arises: how long does olive oil last? Here is a quick answer to your query.

    Olive oil lasts 18 to 24 months once it is bottled. However, extra virgin olive oil lasts a bit less, around 12 to 18 months, because it is less processed and made from original ingredients. It is best to use extra virgin olive oil within six months once it is opened.

    Are you perplexed between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil?

    Don’t fret at all! We’ll unravel the difference between the two and learn ways to store olive oil properly and extend its shelf life.

    Let’s get into the world of olive oil!

    Difference Between Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Extra virgin olive oil is a less processed form of regular olive oil. Therefore, it retains its natural antioxidants and vitamins and is known as a healthier oil than simple olive oil. It is made of 100% natural ingredients but is also a bit expensive.

    In contrast, olive oil is gone through a process of cleaning with chemicals and heating it afterward. This process prolongs its shelf life. However, the chemical process removes its natural flavor and benefits, including vitamins, natural ingredients, and polyphenols.

    Many consumers find extra virgin olive oil to have a more pleasant taste than regular olive oil.

    In simple words, olive oil is refined, filtered, and exposed to chemical and heat treatment that has lost its nutritional benefit. On the other hand, extra virgin olive oil is natural and unrefined and grasps its flavor profile and nutritional values.

    Let’s learn about the shelf life of olive and extra virgin olive oil in our next section.

    How Long Does Olive Oil Stay Fresh?

    bottle of olive oil and fresh olive in a container on black background

    Olive oil is a perishable product. How long olive oil lasts after opening is very important to consider because the shelf life depends on whether or not the olive oil bottle is opened.

    1. Unopened Olive Oil Bottle:

    If the bottle is unopened, it lasts 18 months from the harvest time. Therefore, it is crucial to note down the date of harvest. Olive oil is generally harvested once a year, probably in November and December. 

    However, new harvest oils will be introduced in the winter. It means a bottle harvested in Nov 2020 would expire by May 2022, said Aishwarya Lyer, a well-known founder and CEO of Brightland, California-based company.

    2. Opened Olive Oil Bottle:

    Once you open olive oil, it will last within 3 to 4 months. If you tightly seal the cap or cork and place it in a cool, dark cupboard, kitchen cabinet, or pantry, you will prolong its shelf life.

    3. Unopened Extra Virgin Oil:

    Are you wondering how long unopened extra virgin olive oil will last? It lasts around 12 to 18 months. It has a shorter life span than regular olive oil because it doesn’t undergo any chemical process that prolongs its shelf life. 

    4. Opened Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

    You can use it within six months after it is opened. Store it in a dark, cool place; otherwise, it will spoil if exposed to heat.

    How to Store Olive Oil

    Whether it is regular olive oil or extra virgin olive oil, there are three natural enemies from which you want to hide your oil: light, heat, and air. Store your oil in a cool, dark place, like a pantry, kitchen cabinet, or refrigerator.

    It looks cloudy when put in the refrigerator, but it doesn’t ruin or rancid your oil. All you need to do is put it in cooler temperatures. 

    The optimal temperature is 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas exposure to warmer temperatures leads to an unpleasant smell, odors, and off-flavors like bitter, sour, and stale tastes.

    Moreover, the olive oil bottle in a grocery store is generally made of darker glass, like dark green or amber, which blocks light and promotes oxidation. 

    Oxidation is a cellular process that stimulates aging; it breaks down the fat molecules in olive oil and oxidizes it by oxygen or exposure to heat.

    Thus, storing your olive oil in a cool, dark place is best, and remember that you must cap it once it is opened.

    Does Olive Oil Go Bad or Rancid?

    Yes, it does spoil like any other food. You cannot determine rancid olive oil by its color and texture. The best way to identify whether olive oil has gone bad is through its taste. It is past its prime if it doesn’t have fresh herbaceous and gravy flavors while tasting rancid and stale.

    .

    Olive oil is a mixture of yellow or green hues that offers fruity and savory flavors and can be used in everything we cook.

    The answer to the concern: “Does olive oil expire?” is yes. You might not get sick after consuming expired olive oil. However, it is advisable not to use it after the expiration date.

    Factors that Affect Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s Shelf Life

    Look at some main factors that impact the shelf life of extra virgin olive oil, such as

    • Varieties of Olive Oil
    • Profile of fatty acid and polyphenol content
    • Fruit’s quality
    • Maturity of olives when harvested
    • Method of harvesting.
    • Methodology of procedures
    • Regional factors and conditions
    • Practices of blending

    Some external factors may include:

    • Packaging type
    • Handling
    • Storage process
    • Merchandising conditions

    The Bottom Line

    We hope now you know how long olive oil is good for. Most olive oil lasts 18-24 months once bottled, while extra virgin olive oil lasts around 12-18 months from when it is bottled. It will be rancid if it passes through this expiration period.

    It would help to keep it in cool, dark places, such as a pantry or kitchen cabinet, and tightly seal it with a cap or cork.

    It’s easy to recognize your olive oil by its taste, but it won’t give you any harmful side effects if consumed. However, it will ruin your dish’s flavor.

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