Does olive oil expire or not?

Knowing clearly whether olive oil expires or not is a frequent question among consumers, especially among those who most value the quality and good properties of what is considered liquid gold. Olive oil is a natural product, basic to the Mediterranean diet, which is extracted directly from the fruit of the olive tree by mechanical means, giving rise to different varieties depending on the type of olive and the characteristics of each oil, such as its aroma or the degree of acidity.

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After the collection and extraction process, the olive oil is bottled and, like any other food, it will remain for a certain time until it is finally consumed. Observing the packaging date, in many cases accompanied by the preferred consumption date, raises the question of whether olive oil expires or if, even, it can be harmful to health if it has been stored in the pantry for months or even years. If you want to solve all these doubts, in this article you have the answers.

Does olive oil expire or not?

Does olive oil expire

We clarify it directly: olive oil does NOT expire. Unlike what happens with other foods, such as meat, fish or fresh vegetables that deteriorate irremediably over time and whose consumption, being in poor condition, can cause more or less severe damage to health, the oil is not considered a perishable product. In fact, olive oil containers do not indicate a specific expiration date because if the oil is stored in the right conditions, it can last for several years and does not have to spoil.

Can I use expired olive oil?

Do not confuse the best before the date with the expiration date because they are very different concepts. As we have said, olive oil does not expire, but it is true that some of its organoleptic properties, aroma, texture and flavor, can be altered or become less noticeable to the senses after long periods of time have elapsed. For this reason, looking at the packaging date is a good suggestion because the less time that passes between that moment of packaging and the moment of consumption, the better properties your olive oil will have. In general, the preferential consumption of olive oil lasts between 1 and 2 years from the date of packaging, a wide margin to enjoy this treasure in excellent condition.

In addition to this advice, if what you are concerned about is whether it is safe to drink, or use for cooking, olive oil once the best before date has passed, the answer is yes, because even after that date, the product can start to lose part of its properties, it will not pose a health risk.

In this sense, it is necessary to clarify that more important than the dates of packaging and preferential consumption is to verify that the olive oil has been preserved in the proper conditions. that guarantee its optimum condition and the permanence of its good qualities. When buying a bottle of olive oil, make sure that the product is in an airtight container (preferably dark glass) that has prevented the oil from coming into contact with the air, something that would start the oxidation process and could damage it. Olive oil, moreover, should always be kept in a cool place and away from direct sunlight. If you have stored your olive oil, taking into account these conservation tips, you will be able to take it with all the guarantees even if weeks have passed since the indicated date of preferential consumption.

How to know if olive oil is bad?

Although olive oil does not expire, this does not mean that it cannot be spoiled by the action of external agents that we have indicated, such as direct sunlight, high temperatures or contact with the air. If you have doubts about whether the oil is good or bad, there are a series of signs that you can clearly identify. You just have to put your senses to work. Spoiled oil has a somewhat strange smell, not exactly bad, but different from that of olive oil in perfect condition. In addition, when the oil goes bad, it has a characteristic, easily recognizable rancid taste. It is enough to try a few drops to notice it and decide that it is better not to take it.