Can you store olive oil in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you store olive oil in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can store olive oil in the fridge. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of olive oil and tips to properly store it.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you store olive oil in the fridge?

You can store all types of olive oil in the fridge except the premium extra virgin olive oil that needs to be stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

It is worth mentioning that refrigeration can result in turning olive oil cloudy and it can even solidify.

So if you notice that your olive oil has become cloudy or flaky, you need not worry as such olive oil is not rancid. The reason behind this cloudy or flaky olive oil is that it was either kept in the refrigerator or at a very low temperature. What you gotta do is to keep your olive oil at room temperature and you will notice that the olive oil has returned to its original state.

Most olive oils last for about 12-24 months when stored properly in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat and it is only recommended to refrigerate them if the outside temperature is too hot.

On the other hand, extra virgin olive oil lasts for about 12-18 months when stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of olive oil and olive oil can even last for more than this, provided that it was stored properly. 

Is it unsafe to use olive oil after the “best before” date?

You will find a “best by” or “ best before” date written on the bottle of your olive oil instead of the expiration date. The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the bottle of olive oil refers to the quality rather than safety so the olive oil doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. 

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of olive oil but you can still use olive oil that is past this date as long as it was stored properly and does not have any signs of spoilage.

Signs of rancid olive oil

Certain indicators point out whether or not your olive oil has gone bad. You should consider the smell, color, and taste of the olive oil to reach a final verdict of whether or not it has gone bad.

Smell

Olive oil can go rancid and it can develop that unpleasant rancid aroma that is noticeable if you take a sniff test of the olive oil. 

Taste

Moreover, if you feel some unpleasant taste or rancid taste while taking a bite of food fried in olive oil then it means that your olive oil has gone rancid and it is better to discard it.

Thus, you should consider the signs discussed above to reach a final verdict of whether or not your olive oil is still safe to use.

When it comes to the consumption of rancid olive oil, then obviously it would taste and smell bad but it won’t necessarily make you sick. But you should keep in mind that the consumption of rancid olive oil over a long period of time can increase the risk of the development of certain diseases due to the presence of free radicals in the rancid olive oil.

You can read about different types of olive oil here.

Tips to properly store olive oil

  1. Olive oil starts to lose its characteristic flavor and aroma when it comes in contact with the air and sunlight owing to the oxidation reactions which can ultimately make it rancid. Therefore to seal the quality of olive oil for quite a long time we recommend you always close the lid/cap of the olive oil bottle as soon as you are done pouring the olive oil that you need to reduce the air exposure of olive oil.
  1. You can store the unopened olive oil easily in a cool, dry, and dark corner away from direct sunlight and heat. Thus you can store olive oil in your pantry or kitchen cabinet. 
  1. You can store the olive oil in the pantry even after it has been opened but if the outside temperature is too hot, it is better to store olive oil in the refrigerator.
  1. You should close the lid of the container containing olive oil as soon as you have poured the oil that you need so that it will minimize air or obnoxious agent exposure of your olive oil.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you store olive oil in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can store olive oil in the fridge. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of olive oil and tips to properly store it.

Citations

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/store_olive_oil_to_avoid_spoilage_and_maintain_nutritional_quality#:~:text=Refrigeration%20is%20best%20for%20long,except%20premium%20extra%2Dvirgin%20ones.&text=Keep%20the%20oil%20in%20a,turn%20cloudy%20at%20cold%20temperatures.
https://www.aboutoliveoil.org/should-olive-oil-be-stored-in-the-refrigerator
https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/how-olive-oil-works3.htm
https://www.stilltasty.com/questions/index/27
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-olive-oil-go-bad#:~:text=Most%20olive%20oils%20can%20last,best%2Dby%20date%20has%20passed.

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.