Olive oil is a great way to add healthy fats and flavor to your dishes. It’s versatile, which means you can use it for sautéing, roasting and baking. However, olive oil is sensitive to heat, light and oxygen exposure – if stored improperly (or even just not properly), the quality of the extra virgin olive oil could degrade rapidly with potentially unpleasant results on your palate.
Olive oil is a natural product. It’s made from the fruit of an olive tree, and it contains all of the nutrients that are found in olives. That means that it has a higher concentration of vitamin E than any other vegetable oil, as well as high levels of monounsaturated fat, which helps lower cholesterol and reduce your risk for heart disease.
But like all fats, olive oil can go bad if not stored properly. Olive oil is sensitive to light and heat—it can become rancid when exposed to these factors too long or too often. In order to keep your olive oil fresh longer and preserve its flavor profile (and health benefits), you should store it away from direct sunlight in a dark bottle or container at room temperature (not refrigerated).
Rancid oil is not good for you. It can cause health problems, including cancer.
There are three stages of rancidity:
You should also keep olive oil in a cool, dark place away from heat and moisture. This is because if the oil gets too warm, it becomes rancid, just like butter or margarine; this results in a bitter flavor that can ruin the taste of your final dish. Another reason to store your olive oil in an airtight container is to prevent oxidation—the process by which air interacts with organic materials like food or wine. When exposed to oxygen over time, many foods become stale and lose their natural flavors.
Olive oils tend to be quite sensitive to light exposure and can become affected by its rays within just one hour of exposure! For example: If you leave a bottle of extra virgin olive oil on your kitchen countertop for several days at room temperature (say 80°F), its flavor will deteriorate significantly due to the lack of proper storage conditions like darkness or coolness.
The reason that olive oil is stored in dark bottles is to prevent light from reaching the olive oil, as this can cause it to become rancid.
Dark bottles are more expensive than clear glass ones, so you should choose a dark bottle if you want to protect your body.
So, there you have it: the best way to store your olive oil. The next time you buy some, be sure to keep this information in mind. You’ll be glad you did!