Can you freeze olive oil?

In this brief guide we will discuss the following query, “can you freeze olive oil?” We will learn the proper ways to freeze olive oil. We will also discuss the health benefits of using olive oil and the signs of spoilage of olive oil.

Can you freeze olive oil?

Yes, it is possible to freeze olive oil. When the temperature is lowered olive oil becomes a complex mixture of oils and waxes that tend to form progressively needle-like crystals. 

Freezing olive oil will not harm it; it will actually prolong its nutritional benefits and its flavor. It is a myth that the freezing point of olive oil can be used to predict whether it is pure, virgin or extra virgin. (1)

What factors contribute to the freezing of extra virgin olive oil?

The important factors contributing to the freezing of extra virgin olive oil are: Temperature as the crystallization process usually begins below 283K. 

Time as crystallization and subsequent freezing occurs when the oil remains for enough time at low temperatures. 

Composition as the amount of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids of eVOOs is a peculiarity of each oil and the crystallization time will be greatly influenced by the corresponding ratio (1)

What are the proper ways to freeze olive oil?

If you want to freeze olive oil you should store them in portion sizes. In this way, you do not need to defrost a whole bottle of oil when you want a small quantity. We have the following guidelines on how to freeze your olive oil correctly.

  • Always check the expiry date of olive oil when you are buying it.
  • Divide your olive oil into portion sizes and transfer each portion size into a separate jar or container that is air-tight.
  • Put your olive oil in the freezer.
  • When you are ready to use the oil just use it directly in your dishes.
  • If you want to put it in your salads then you should microwave it first and use it once it is cold.
  • Frozen olive oil is good to use in every kind of dish.

What is the major factor for the deterioration of olive oil?

The deterioration of olive oil quality is primarily attributed to oxidation. Several factors, including oxygen availability, light exposure, and temperature, influence the rate of oxidation. 

In the absence of light, auto-oxidation takes place, following a free radical mechanism. Initially, oxygen absorption leads to the formation of hydroperoxides. 

These unstable compounds then decompose, giving rise to a complex mixture of volatile compounds like aldehydes, ketones, hydrocarbons, alcohols, and esters. These compounds are responsible for the undesirable flavor deterioration known as “oxidative rancidity” in olive oil.

On the other hand, when olive oils are exposed to light, a process called photo-oxidation occurs. Consequently, it is crucial to protect commercial edible oils, including olive oil, from direct light to prevent such deterioration. (2)

What is the shelf life of olive oil?

The shelf life of extra virgin olive oil is typically evaluated to be around 12-18 months. 

However, studies have demonstrated that when extra virgin olive oil is stored correctly in tightly sealed packaging, it can maintain its sensory properties without any alterations for up to two years. (3)

What are the signs of spoilage of olive oil?

There are certain indicators that you should keep into consideration to find out whether your olive oil has gone rancid or not.

Rancid flavor is characteristic of olive oil that has undergone oxidation, with full correlation between the intensity of the defect and the degree of oxidation. (4)

Photooxidation results in a change in color and because of the formation of hydroperoxide decomposition products, it develops undesirable odor and flavor constituents. (2)


In this brief guide we discussed the following query, “can you freeze olive oil?” We learned the proper ways to freeze olive oil. We also discussed the health benefits of using olive oil and the signs of spoilage of olive oil.


  1. Mallamace, D., Longo, S., & Corsaro, C. Proton NMR study of extra Virgin Olive Oil with temperature: Freezing and melting kinetics. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications, 499, 20–27. 2018.
  2. Gargouri B, Zribi A, Bouaziz M. Effect of containers on the quality of Chemlali olive oil during storage. J Food Sci Technol. 52(4):1948-59.2015.
  3. Sanmartin C, Venturi F, Sgherri C, Nari A, Macaluso M, Flamini G, Quartacci MF, Taglieri I, Andrich G, Zinnai A. The effects of packaging and storage temperature on the shelf-life of extra virgin olive oil. Heliyon. 2018
  4. Cayuela, J. A., Gómez-Coca, R. B., Moreda, W., & Pérez-Camino, M. C. Sensory defects of virgin olive oil from a microbiological perspective. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 43(2), 227–235. 2015.

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