What is the best container for storing extra virgin olive oil?
To best preserve extra virgin olive oil, it must be protected from the main factors of deterioration, namely: light, heat, sudden changes in temperature, air and odours.
The best material for storing oil in the kitchen is glazed ceramic . Containers of this type, although on average more expensive than those made of glass or aluminum, allow the oil to be better protected from light and sudden changes in temperature, as well as from other deterioration factors.
As an alternative to the ceramic bottle, it is possible to use glass containers that are as dark as possible, so that the oil is protected from light.
What is the optimal temperature at which to store extra virgin olive oil?
The optimum temperature for storing extra virgin olive oil is between 14 and 19°C . In fact, temperatures that are too low, below 12°C, can damage the oil by freezing it and too high can rapidly lose its organoleptic qualities.
However, it is also very important that the temperature is kept as constant as possible, frequent and rapid changes in temperature cause the oil to perish more quickly.
How long does extra virgin olive oil last?
The oil does not have a real expiration date, but it does have a conservation time, that is a time during which it keeps its organoleptic properties unaltered. This period is approximately 18 months, but varies according to various factors including storage conditions and the quality of the oil.
High quality extra virgin oils, especially if obtained with cold extraction, tend to keep their properties longer.
Ceramic containers have been used for centuries to store olive oil.
In the 1990s, during archaeological excavations at the site of Castelluccio (Syracuse), three ceramic containers were found dating back to the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC (early Bronze Age) in which organic residues of oleic acid were found and linoleic, unmistakable signatures of the presence of olive oil.
This startling discovery has turned back the clock to the beginning of olive oil production by at least 700 years.