Does Olive Oil Go Bad?

If you have recently been cleaning your kitchen cupboard or pantry, then you may have noticed an old bottle of olive oil. If it was a fancy type of olive oil with an interesting bottle, then you may be wondering if you can still use it.

While olive oil may last for a long time, unfortunately, it will expire. This means that the olive oil that you have left alone for months might not be very nice to consume. 

Does Olive Oil Go Bad?

How long it takes to expire actually depends on whether you have regular olive oil or extra virgin olive oil. The former is good for around 18 to 24 months, while the latter tends to last around 12 to 18 months. 

In this article, we shall take a good look at whether olive oil goes bad, and how you can tell the difference between good and bad olive oil. 

How Long Might Olive Oil Last?

Unsurprisingly, olive oil will go bad eventually. Made from olives which are technically a fruit, it really is only a matter of time before the olive oil expires.

While this does not mean you cannot consume it, it does mean that it will taste rancid.

Regular olive oil tends to last around 18 to 24 months, while extra virgin olive oil will last from 12 to 18 months due to having fewer processed ingredients.

This includes the time of it being bottled too.

Most olive oil bottles have an expiration date on them which will help you to figure out when the olive oil will go bad. If it does not have a date on the bottle, write the date you bought the olive oil.

This will help you to know how long you have had it.

You can then do some math and figure out how long the olive oil may have been around for. 

Can Olive Oil Go Bad?

Yes, olive oil can go bad. It has an expiration date which indicates when it can go rancid, as well as lose its beneficial properties. 

Keeping it in the refrigerator does not necessarily mean it will last longer, though it is absolutely fine to store it this way. You may notice that the olive oil starts to look cloudy. This is due to the change in temperature. 

Because olive oil can go bad, you will want to take note of its expiration date, or at least check to see if it has already gone bad if you have found a bottle in your kitchen. 

How Can You Tell Olive Oil Has Gone Bad?

It can be difficult to see if olive oil has gone bad just by looking at it. This is because it is temperature sensitive. This can make the liquid go cloudy. Some people may mistake this for olive oil going bad. 

Even so, there are two surefire ways of checking whether olive oil has gone bad.

These are:

Olive Oil Smell

Olive oil that is still good will have a slight fruit smell to it. However, if it smells more like putty or crayons, then you can be sure that it has gone bad. 

Olive Oil Taste

Another way of telling if olive oil has gone bad is by giving it a taste. For this, you do not need to dip some bread into it or eat a giant spoonful. Just give it a tiny taste on your tongue.

If the olive oil has a sour, stale, or even bitter taste, then it is time to throw it out. 

Does Olive Oil Go Bad? (1)

Will Eating Gone Bad Olive Oil Make You Sick?

Consuming olive oil that has gone bad or rancid will not make you sick. However, there are two things that will happen.

Firstly, you will not reap the same antioxidant benefits from olive oil that has gone bad. This is because the oxidants that were once in the olive oil have broken down over time.

Secondly, it will not taste very nice. If you have no idea that the olive oil has gone bad, you will most certainly notice when you eat the salad you have drenched with the stuff. 

Again, it will not make you sick, however, you will not want to eat it due to its rancid flavor. 

What Is The Best Way To Store Olive Oil?

Olive oil should generally be placed in a dark yet cool place. This can be a pantry, a kitchen cupboard, or even in the refrigerator. When the olive oil is placed in a lighter area, it can cause the oxidation process to speed up.

This causes the olive oil to age. While this is great for wine, it is terrible for olive oil. It breaks down the molecules in the fat and will cause it to taste rancid.

This also happens when the olive oil is exposed to oxygen and heat, so remember to replace its cap every time you use it, as well as not putting it in the sunlight.

If you want the olive oil to last longer, then buy one in a dark bottle. Though placing it in a dark and cool area should do the trick anyway.

If you plan on putting it in the refrigerator, you may notice that it goes cloudy. This is a reaction to the cold temperature and is normal. This does not mean that your olive oil is going rancid, so it is perfectly okay to use. 

Final Thoughts

If you have found a bottle of olive oil during your kitchen cleanout, you may be wondering if it is still okay to consume. If it does not have an expiration date, then the next best thing is to smell or taste it.

While consuming olive oil which has gone bad will not make you sick, it will not taste very nice at all. For this reason, it will make the olive oil unusable. 

If you find that your olive oil has gone bad, then throw it out and buy some more!

Mark Williams
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