While olive oil does have a longer shelf stable life than many other pantry staples, it does not last forever. Unlike other products, such as wine, olive oil does not improve as it ages, and it will actually become dull and eventually go rancid over time. So how do you know if that bottle in your pantry is too old? Here is how long olive oil lasts:

How Long Does Olive Oil Last?

How long olive oil lasts depends on a variety of factors, including how the olive oil is stored and what type of olive oil it is. In general, high-quality olive oil lasts between 12 and 24 months when stored correctly. However, once you open the olive oil, the sooner you use it up, the fresher it will taste.

Olive oil does not have an indefinite shelf life, so it is very important to know when it was harvested. Unfortunately, many brands do not include a harvest date on their bottles, especially if olives from different harvest years are blended together. However, reputable brands with a clean and traceable supply chain, such as Brightland, do include the harvest date on the bottle so you will always know how fresh the olive oil is. As you shop, be sure to look for bottles that are labeled with a harvest date.

Some other factors that can reduce the shelf life of olive oil include exposure to light, heat and air. This is why you should always store your olive oil in a cool, dry place such as the back of your pantry. This is also why smaller bottles of olive oil are preferable to large ones – the larger the bottle, the more olive oil is exposed to air, which speeds up the degrading process. You will also go through small bottles faster, which means that the olive oil will have less time to degrade before you finish it.

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How to Prolong the Life of Your Olive Oil

Keeping your olive oil fresh for as long as possible starts with the packaging itself. Exposure to light can increase rancidity and decrease antioxidants, which is why opaque glass packaging that blocks the light is the best choice. If your bottle is protected from UV rays, then you will be able to leave it out on your counter without having to worry about light exposure. If the bottle is see-through, then you should store it in a pantry or cabinet where it will not be exposed to the sun.

brightland olive oil on kitchen counter

The temperature at which you store your olive oil is also very important. For best results, keep it away from the oven and stove, which will heat up the olive oil. You should also keep the olive oil out of your fridge, which usually has a temperature of 40 degree Fahrenheit, unless you live in an extremely hot environment. The ideal temperature for olive oil is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes a cool place such as your pantry the perfect location to store it. (Learn more about how to store olive oil here.)

Because it is such a staple of cooking, most chefs go through their olive oil very quickly, before it can go bad. However, in some cases, you may have a specialty olive oil that you do not use every day, or you might have a bottle that gets hidden in the back of your pantry and forgotten. If it does not have a harvest date listed on the bottle, do a smell and taste test to see if the olive oil has gone bad. If it smells like putty or glue, then do not cook with it. If it smells okay, then give it a taste. If it tastes rancid or bitter, then you should throw out the bottle.

At Brightland, we do everything we can to keep our olive oil fresh for as long as possible. All of our olives are recently harvested and the harvest date is clearly labeled on each of our products. We have also specifically designed our packaging to protect the olive oil inside. Our bottles are coated in order to minimize light exposure as well as heat exposure, ensuring that your olive oil stays stable for as long as possible.

pair of olive oils with variety of foods

We also size our bottles so that chefs will not take too long to go through them, reducing the risk that the olive oil will go rancid before it can be used. If you use a lot of olive oil, then consider getting an olive oil set so you will always have a bottle on hand. Order from Brightland today!