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Thread: Olive Oil..how long does it stay good?

  1. #1
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    Default Olive Oil..how long does it stay good?

    I just found an unopened tin of olive oil in my basement. We are cleaning it out to move and it was hidden by other things. There's no date on it and no place to call to check on it. Does anyone know how long olive oil lasts? I assume we've had it for at least 5 plus years.

    Thanks,
    Gina
    John 10:9

  2. #2

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    Well it depends on how you define "Good".

    I'm not sure if it's still safe to eat or not after 5 years, but most Olive Oil efficinados will tell you that sealed up or not Olive Oil goes "bad" after 6 months.

    I think they are talking mainly about the flavor as old olive oil can taste distinctivly like turpentine. (I have bought a few bottles brand-new from the store that had been stored too hot and tasted more like paint thinner).
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  3. #3
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    I keep a large bottle of olive oil in my locker and refill a smaller bottle I keep in my kitchen. It has kept for several years and I've never had a problem.

    Open the bottle and sniff or taste it. Believe me you'll know if it has gone off

  4. #4
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    I have a wonderful book called "Keeping Food Fresh". It says olive oil will keep 4 to 12 months on the shelf, 6 to 12 months in the refrigerator. If your oil is older than that, it's probably rancid, so I'd toss it...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dill_pickles
    I think they are talking mainly about the flavor as old olive oil can taste distinctivly like turpentine.
    Being the organic solvent snob that i am, i will say that a bad turpentine is better any day than a good naphtha :P

  6. #6
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    I found this online at:

    http://www.hormel.com/templates/knowledge/knowledge.asp?catitemid=40&id=190

    Olive Oil Handling, Safety & Storage

    Air, heat, light, and age affect the quality and the shelf life of olive oil, which deteriorates through oxidation (rancidity). The oxidation process is greatly enhanced when olive oil is stored in containers that are not air tight and in areas where it is exposed to heat and light. If improperly stored, olive oil can easily take on other flavors.

    An unpleasant smell or taste indicates that olive oil is no longer desirable for consumption. A wine smell or taste may reveal that the olive oil was not stored properly. A metallic flavor indicates that the oil was stored in a container made with reactive metal. If olive oil has become rancid very quickly, it may prove that the oil was improperly stored and has oxidized.

    Storage Containers

    Olive oil can be kept longer than any other edible oil. Although it can get rancid, olive oil is less likely to become rancid than other oils, especially if it is stored properly. The best containers for storage are glass (especially tinted glass), ceramic, porcelain, or non-reactive metals such as stainless steel.

    Olive oil will oxidize rapidly if it is not kept in a sealed container. If olive oil is stored in a bottle, always replace the cap on the bottle and keep it tightly sealed. Never put olive oil in a container that does not have a tight cap or some other method of sealing the container.

    Do not store olive oil in containers made of reactive metals such as copper or iron. The chemical reaction between the olive oil and the metal will damage the oil and may produce toxins. Olive oil should not be stored in plastic containers because the oil may absorb PVC's from the plastic.

    Temperature for Storage

    The ideal temperature for storing olive oil is 57F, although a normal room temperature of 70F works very well if the olive oil is stored in a dark area where the temperature remains fairly constant. Olive oil will solidify at 36F, but it will return to a liquid state as soon as the temperature rises. In colder weather, olive oil may turn cloudy, especially if the temperature of the storage area falls below 50F.

    Locations for Storage

    It is important to store olive oil in a cool, dark place. A wine cellar is an ideal place for storing olive oil because it is dark and the temperature is cool and constant. Since most of us do not own wine cellars, a kitchen cabinet located away from the stove and away from direct sunlight will work quite well.

    Refrigeration will extend the life of olive oil without harming the oil. The oil will become cloudy and solidify in the refrigerator, but this will not significantly affect the quality or flavor. When the oil is warmed to room temperature it will return to a liquid state and its color will be restored. Refrigeration does not harm most grades of olive oil, but it is not recommended for expensive extra virgin varieties because condensation may develop in the bottle, affecting the flavor.

    Shelf Life

    Olive should keep a minimum of 15 months if it is properly stored. If it is stored in its original container and remains unopened, it should last for 2 years or more.

    Olive oil has the best flavor when it is used within a year after it is pressed and it is at its peak within 2 or 3 months after pressing. Unlike many types of wine, olive oil does not improve with age. As olive oil ages, it continually degrades and the acidity level rises. As a result, an older bottle of olive oil may have an unpleasant odor and taste. The oil will be neither harmful if consumed, nor very pleasing.

    Lower grades of olive oil usually have a shorter shelf life than top quality extra virgin oil because the acidity level is already higher at the time of bottling. A grade of olive such as semi-fine virgin, which has a much higher oleic acid content than extra virgin, may become less desirable after only a few months because the acidity level may rise to an unacceptable level.

    Safety Concerns

    Olive oil is safe to use even if it has oxidized. The flavor and aroma may not be very pleasant, but it is not harmful if consumed.
    Some flavored olive oils have additives that may require refrigeration in order to preserve them. Others may not require refrigeration because of the process used when manufacturing the oil, so it is best to read the label carefully. It is usually not safe to make your own flavored olive oils at home and keep them for any length of time. Some flavoring agents may promote the growth of bacteria and can only be safely added with commercial processes. You may, however, prepare homemade flavored olive oils if they are used immediately and any leftover oil is disposed of.

    A major safety concern is when olive oil (and any other cooking oil) is heated to very high temperatures for deep-frying. Consider the following points:

    A wire basket may be used to hold the food so that it can be safely lowered and raised in the hot olive oil.
    Any utensils and equipment that come into contact with the hot oil must be thoroughly dried first. Moisture on the utensils will cause splattering, which can be dangerous.
    The hot olive oil should not be left unattended and children and pets should NEVER be allowed near the cooking area.
    A fire extinguisher and heavy potholders should always be within reach.

    After the cooking is completed, the olive oil should not be transferred to another container or disposed of until it has completely cooled. It is extremely dangerous to pour the hot oil from the cooking vessel.

  7. #7
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    It seems that most everything you buy has an expiration date on it nowadays. If your olive oil doesn't have an expiration date, it must be REALLY old. I would toss it personally.

  8. #8
    yaya78006 Guest

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    Open it up and pour some out and smell it.
    If it is rancid, it will smell bad and be cloudy.

    yaya

  9. #9
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    I don't know. Five years sounds like a long time. My theory is When in Doubt, Throw It Out.

  10. #10
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    you could always use that for a body scrub...I don't know if I would use it for cooking
    The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched ... but are felt in the heart. Helen Keller

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