Does extra virgin olive oil expire or not?
Extra virgin olive oil does not expire, but it does have a best-before date. In this article we explain this issue and the false myths surrounding it.
First of all, we must not confuse the expiration date with the best-before date, as they are two different concepts:
- The expiration date informs us of the latest date after which the food should not be consumed, as it may constitute a risk to our health.
- The best-before date informs us of the date after which the packer can no longer guarantee that the product retains the characteristics and properties of its category, but the product can be consumed without any risk.
Therefore, the best-before date of an extra virgin olive oil indicates the moment from which the oil can lose the organoleptic qualities that make it excellent.
When an extra virgin olive oil is bottled, its best-before date is decided, which is usually between one and two years from that moment.
In the case of extra virgin olive oils protected by the Protected Designation of Origin Estepa, this date is shown on the back of the bottle.
How do we know if the oil has lost its qualities after this date?
Through the colour we can also perceive that the extra virgin olive oil has deteriorated. Although colour is not an indication of the quality of an oil and should not be a criterion for selecting it, there are certain limits. If we have an extra virgin olive oil and we notice a significant change in colour, it may be an indication of deterioration.
If we notice these characteristics in the extra virgin olive oil, it is better not to use it for food, as it will not give a good flavour to the dish.
Some recommendations for preserving EVOO
Here are some tips to help you keep your extra virgin olive oil in the best possible condition:
- We recommend buying the amount of extra virgin olive oil that you are going to consume before the best-before date.
- Choose the correct packaging. The packaging has the function of preserving and protecting the properties of the oil, so opaque glass or tin containers are the ones that best protect the oil from light, preventing oxidation.
- Keep the oil in a dark place. Although an opaque container helps to preserve the oil, it is important to store it in a dark place.
- Keep the container closed when not in use. Avoid ventilation of the oil to preserve it from oxidation.
- The containers with the extra virgin olive oil must be kept in a cool place; we cannot leave them near large sources of heat.
Remember, extra virgin olive oil does not expire and, if you follow the recommendations we have given you, you will ensure that it does not lose any of its qualities.