Can olive oil go bad and how can you tell? Virgin Olive oil can go bad even though it's liquid fat. However, it does not spoil in a day so you have to be aware of the different changes that it goes through after being opened and used.
Does olive oil expire
There is nothing like an expiry date for virgin olive oil (VOO), however, there is a time period after opening when the best flavor and taste of the olive oil can be experienced. The USDA states that unopened virgin olive oils are best used within two years while EVOO should be consumed within 18 months of opening.
So to answer the question, rancid VOO is an expired one
What Happens when it Goes Bad?
When the bottle of oil is exposed to air, the liquid inside will oxidize. This means that the molecules in the liquid will change and become rancid because of oxygen exposure.
The fatty acid composition changes when it becomes oxidized causing a different taste and smell which is an indication that olive oil has gone bad.
Fatty acids are going to be broken down more after being exposed to air so the taste will change. The breakdown of the fatty acids is caused by enzymes and this process speeds up in light so if you store your olive oil under bright lights it will go bad faster than if in the dark.
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How to tell if olive oil is bad
When you open your olive oil and it is rancid, cloudy, has an odd color, or does not smell like olives anymore then do not use it. If the one-time spoonful that you tasted had a poor taste then it's best to just throw the whole bottle away and buy a new one.
Olive oil oxidizes slowly so if there was a slightly bitter taste but smelled okay then keep it in the refrigerator and just use it up within 2 months of opening it. Check for expiration dates when buying your oil to make sure that you are getting an un-rancid product when storing at home.
How can I tell it is rancid?
Olive oils with poor flavors usually have oxidized flavor compounds. The first thing to do when you open up a new bottle of olive oil is to take a quick whiff of it before adding it on top of your food or salad.
If the smell seems off then it's probably rancid so just quickly look at what expiration date it has and if there isn't one then just pass on using that type because chances are that it's oxidized and should not be used again.
How long is olive oil good for
Bottled olive oil has a best before date on the label, indicating a decent shelf life. While it may go rancid with time and improper storage, if it is kept correctly, it should last for up to two years.
Tips to improve the shelf life from getting bad
The shelf life of olive oil is very subjective because there are various factors that can affect its storage time. These include bottle capacity, temperature, and light exposure among others.
If you're using a jar of olive oil, remove the amount you'll need with a clean dry spoon. Instead of dipping things in it, pour it into another container for proper handling.
Make sure that container is tightly closed before storing it away. Store it in a dark cupboard or drawer for maximum shelf life.
Do not store olive oil near heat because this will speed up its spoiling time.
While this is not the best and practical option. you can store your opened bottle of olive oil in the refrigerator for longer shelf life. bear in mind that it will solidify and would need some time at room temperature to turn into a pourable liquid fat.
How to store Olive Oil?
Always make sure that the bottle is tightly closed after every use otherwise the exposure to air will cause any VOO inside to go bad within a short period of opening.
Once opened, keep in a cool dark place with an ambient temperature of about 45 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Olive oil can last about 2 years or more if kept in dark cold places.
How to dispose of olive oil
Whether yours is bad, expired or you have owned it for a long time, you have to consider the environment before disposing of your bad oil.
The best way to dispose of olive oil is by recycling it. If that's not possible then just put the container in your trash bin with other organic matters to be recycled. Close it tightly closed so it doesn't leak into the trash.
Never pour oil down the drain since it might clog your drainage. More importantly, it can do damage to our environment and water-supply system.
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You can tell if your VOO has gone bad by looking at, smelling, and tasting the product before you use it. Consuming rancid products is harmful so always check for expiration dates when buying olive oil to make sure that you are getting an un-rancid product when storing at home.