August 22 2022

Olive oil’s worst enemies. How to keep your olive oil fresh at home

Olive oil is a versatile and healthy cooking oil, but it's not without its enemies. Heat, oxygen, and light can all degrade the quality of olive oil, making it less effective and flavourful. Here are some tips for preserving your olive oil's quality, so you can enjoy its many benefits in your kitchen.

Olive oil’s top three enemies are:

  1. Light
  2. Heat
  3. Air


Light causes a breakdown in chlorophyll, the compound responsible for olive oil’s distinctive colour. This photo-oxidation process also alters the taste and aromatic components of the oil. Moreover, exposure to light can cause the formation of free radicals, which may lead to fatty acid oxidation. Oxidized oils are more likely to become rancid and have a shorter shelf life. 

What you can do: To protect olive oil against light damage, it must be stored in a dark container or bottle, sheltered from direct light and sunlight.



Heat is one of olive oil’s worst enemies. During transportation and storage, olive oil is exposed to temperature variations which can cause it to degrade. In fact, heat causes the oil’s molecules to decompose, leading to a loss in taste and smell. This problem is made even worse during the summer months, when temperatures are higher and transportation times are longer. That’s why, here at Favuzzi, we always use temperature-controlled containers to preserve the quality of the oil we import. 

What you can do: Store your bottle in a cool, dark location, and always move your bottle away from the stove when cooking.



Oxidation occurs when olive oil is exposed to air. The oil becomes rancid, giving it an unpleasant taste and smell. Oxidation also causes the oil’s beneficial antioxidants to break down, thereby making it less nutritious. To prevent oxidation, olive oil must be stored in a dark, airtight container. 

What you can do: Be sure to reseal the bottle after use to prevent air from entering. By following this simple tip, you can ensure your olive oil remains fresh and flavourful longer.


The distinctive taste of good olive oil

Between the transformation process and the moment it calls your pantry home, your olive oil is put to the test. Due to all kinds of errors, it can come into contact with air during production, endure extreme temperatures during truck or ship transportation, or be exposed to intense store lighting for several weeks – or months – before making its way into your shopping cart.

In ideal storage conditions, and depending on the olive variety, olive oil retains its qualities for 18 to 24 months… as long as the bottle is unopened. Once opened, even in optimal conditions, we recommend using the oil within the following weeks. This allows you to enjoy the freshest taste and get the most out of its antioxidant properties. Opt for smaller formats; this way, your oil is sure not lose its qualities too quickly. 

The best way to tell whether you have purchased a good-quality olive oil is to taste it before using it. You can tell an oil is not at its best when you start to notice one of the following main defects: it is rancid, fusty, winey, or mouldy. Read our article on the taste of good quality olive oil to discover the organoleptic properties to look for. Remember to store your bottle away from light, in a dark, airtight container, far from all heat sources.

Buy Favuzzi extra virgin olive oils