How to Store Olive Oil to Retain Its Nutritional Values For Maximum Health Benefits
Olive oil is sensitive to heat, light and air. So, what is the best way to store olive oil?
Here are some practical ways to keep your olive oil away from heat, light and air so that it'll retain its nutritional values as much as possible and provide maximum health benefits for you.
Storing Olive Oil
Keep your olive oil best in a cool (room temperature works fine), dark place away from stove or other heat-generating appliances. That way it won't "see" the light and "feel" the heat so easily and turn rancid.
Here's a tip for you if you wish to save cost and buy olive oil bottled in clear container - transfer it to tinted glass container which helps to keep out light or non-reactive metal such as stainless steel (if you have it at home).
Another trick to lower your cost is wrap the clear container with tinted or dark-colored paper (light-colored paper works fine but not as effective in blocking light as dark-colored paper). This can prevent light from "attacking" the oil too.
But make sure you keep the oil away from heat when you use that budget paper-wrapping method as dark-colored paper absorbs heat well.
If temperature surrounding the oil rises, then keep it in the refrigerator. But oil turns solid when chilled, so you might find it difficult to use. Therefore, before you refrigerate the oil, you may want to pour a small amount into a separate container for frequent usage.
Alternatively, you can bring it out of the fridge earlier, say an hour before use, for it to thaw.
When transferring olive oil into separate container, make sure you completely clean and dry its interior before you use it to store the oil as oxygen in water may oxidize the oil, increasing its acidity level and depreciating its nutritional value as a result.
Also, you should not expose olive oil to air and light too much during transfer, hence be nimble with your action and don't do the transfers too often. For example, don't transfer it from container A to B, only to realize container B doesn't fit well and you go on to transfer from container B to C. You'll spoil the oil this way.
So, make up your mind before you transfer. And always screw the cap tightly to block air from entering. These little acts can help preserve the oil's phytonutrients as well as extend its shelf life a bit longer.
Never Store Olive Oil for Too Long
Spanish researchers find that whether you keep virgin olive oil under perfect condition or not, the quality and nutritional values will gradually deteriorate over time.
So, make sure you use the oil as soon as you buy it, don't store it like wine. It doesn't get better.
I suggest that you buy at most 1 liter at a time and try to finish it within 3 months. I use it in my daily dietary intake and I usually finish it in less than 2 months.
Just bear in mind, the longer the unconsumed oil stays on your shelf, the lower its nutritional value.
Tip: Refrigerating Premium extra-virgin olive oil of very good acidity level (e.g. as low as 0.225%) can affect its flavor. So, it's best to store it at room temperature. Refrigerating other grades of oil doesn't affect their quality and flavor.
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