Does olive oil last longer in the fridge?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question, “Does olive oil last longer in the fridge?”

Does olive oil last longer in the fridge?

Yes, olive oil lasts longer in the fridge. Refrigeration is not required once the product has been opened as long as it is kept appropriately. If you are not going to use an opened container for many weeks, chilling may help maintain the oil.

At frigid temperatures, refrigerated olive oil will harden and become hazy. The health advantages of nutritional value are unaffected by this. The liquid texture and color of olive oil may be restored by bringing it to room temperature for a brief period.

The best method to store olive oil is in a cold, dark cabinet or pantry. As with the olive oil, ensure that it is well sealed and that you purchase olive oil in bottles that will be used within a few months after opening.

Besides the type of packaging, storage temperature plays a fundamental role; it was observed that the shelf life of oil was improved in dark colored containers stored in the dark at temperatures lower than 22 °C.

As olive oil ages, the acidity level increases, and the taste decreases. If you use your olive oil within one year of purchase, it will retain its finest quality and taste.(1, 2)

How storage temperature can affect olive oil degradation?

The temperature at which olive oil is stored plays a crucial role in the oxidative changes it undergoes. When stored at 6 °C, the oil largely preserves its positive attributes, while storing it at 26 °C (room temperature) enhances oxidative processes, resulting in a notable presence of rancid flavor.

Additionally, when stored at 6 °C, olive oil remains defect-free even at the end of storage, indicating that low-temperature storage (6 °C) could be a promising condition to slow down oil degradation during market storage.

However, in most cases, storing olive oil at lower temperatures is not necessary because extra virgin olive oil typically has a shelf life of 12-18 months, usually being consumed way before that time. (1)

Can you freeze olive oil?

Freezing olive oil is indeed possible and can be done without causing any harm. As the temperature decreases, olive oil undergoes a transformation, forming a combination of oils and waxes that gradually crystallize into needle-like structures.

Contrary to a common myth, freezing olive oil does not affect its purity or categorization as pure, virgin, or extra virgin. Instead, freezing can actually extend the preservation of its nutritional benefits and help maintain its original flavor over a longer period of time. (2)

How should olive oil be stored?

When it comes to the storage of olive oil, careful consideration of environmental factors is vital to maintain its quality. Temperature, light exposure, and oxygen contact are the main elements to be mindful of.

To begin, it is advisable to store olive oil in a cool and dark location, such as a pantry with a closed door, a cabinet, or even a refrigerator. 

Excessive heat and direct sunlight can accelerate oxidation, leading to rancidity and a loss of flavor and aroma. By keeping the oil away from light and sources of heat, you can help preserve its freshness for a longer duration.

Furthermore, minimizing the oil’s contact with air is crucial. When exposed to oxygen, the oil undergoes oxidation reactions that can eventually result in rancidity. 

To prevent this, always ensure a tight seal on the bottle by promptly closing the lid or cap after use. This reduces the oil’s exposure to air and helps maintain its quality over time. (1,3,4)

How to tell if the olive oil has gone bad?

It is possible for olive oil to become rancid if it has gone bad.

Here are a few pointers on how to tell whether the olive oil has past its best before date.

The first thing you notice about the oil is how it smells.

Olive oil which has begun to deteriorate will have a distinct odor.The rich, delicious scent of olives seems to be what we recognize with olive oil.It’s intended to smell good, not stale or pungent. Your olive oil will smell like cheese or butter if it has gone rancid.

Rancid olive oil has a poor smell and flavor. The flavor of olive oil can be enjoyed by some, however spoiled olive oil should not be enjoyed.

An olive oil’s quality may be determined by taking a sip. If it’s bitter and unpleasant, throw it out.

Cloudy olive oil is a sign that something is wrong with the product.This is because rancid oil breaks into many elements, and the clouded part in olive oil is generally the second component.

You’ll have to rely on your sense of smell and taste to tell whether something has gone bad if the change in look isn’t obvious. (3, 5)

What are the health implications of eating old olive oil?

Rancid olive oil tends to lose some of its potent antioxidant properties. While it may not provide the same level of nutritional benefits, consuming rancid olive oil is generally not harmful to your health. 

However, to maximize the intake of antioxidants, it is recommended to consume fresh olive oil whenever possible.

The nutritional advantages of olive oil primarily stem from its fatty acid composition, notably the high content of oleic acid and the well-balanced ratio of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. 

Furthermore, olive oil contains significant amounts of natural antioxidants, which are considered important in the prevention of various diseases. (3, 4)

Other FAQs about Oils  that you may be interested in.

What Can You Substitute For Vegetable Oil?

Does sesame oil go bad?

What can i use instead of oil in brownies


In this brief article, we answered the question, “Does olive oil last longer in the fridge?”


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Natalie Butler, Lisa Wartenberg, Does Olive Oil Expire? Them. Healthline Media LLC. 2020.
  5. 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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