Does Olive Oil Go Bad? And How To Tell If It Has!

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Written By Gabriela
Gabriela is a science journalist and writer. She has a PhD in biochemistry and a master's degree in science communication. Gabriela has published articles in magazines and newspapers in Mexico and USA, and has also given talks on science subjects.






Olive oil is one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen, and it’s also full of essential vitamins and antioxidants. But it’s important to know that olive oil can go bad. So how can you tell if your olive oil has gone bad and is no longer safe to use? In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about olive oil expiration, storage, and safety.

Can olive oil go bad?

Extra virgin olive oil is renowned for its many health benefits and sheer flavor. But, how long does Olive Oil last?

Most extra virgin olive oil usually lasts between 18 to 24 months due to its higher acid content. Though, this does vary a bit depending on the brand and type of olive oil.

However, olive oil does start to degrade as soon as you open the bottle. For achieving the optimal taste and benefits from the oil, it is advised that you use it within six months of opening it.

It is essential that you know the shelf life of your bottle before buying because once gone bad, olive oil can produce a rancid odour or taste.

How to store olive oil properly!

  • Keep it away from light: Be sure to always store away your olive oil in a cool, dark place. Avoid displaying your bottles/jars near any source of direct sunlight.
  • Keep it air-tight: Make sure to tightly close and seal the lid or cork of your bottle/jar, ensuring that no air can get inside.
  • Keep it temperature-controlled: Ensure that your olive oil is stored at room temperature and avoid storing in places subject to large fluctuations in temperature such as the refrigerator.

Remember – quality and freshness are key when it comes to extra virgin olive oil!

Can You Tell If Your Olive Oil Has Gone Bad?

If you’re wondering whether the bottle of olive oil you have in your pantry has passed its expiry date, here’s a quick guide to determine if it’s still ok to use.

The best way to tell if the oil has gone bad is by giving it a taste. This won’t make you sick, but it can give you an indication of its condition. If the oil has a bitter or off-smelling taste, then sadly, it has gone rancid.

But how can you judge the taste of olive oil properly? Here are a few tips:

  • Start off with a small dose. A teaspoon is enough to determine whether the oil is still good or not.
  • Give it several tastes. It can take a few tries before your taste buds can accurately pick up on any questionable flavors.
  • Be mindful of external factors. Keep in mind that food and drinks that you ate earlier in the day can influence your sense of taste. So try not to eat anything else before testing a sample of the oil.

It may be hard to pass up on using a questionable bottle of olive oil, so keep in mind that some recipes actually require excess amounts of olive oil. In these cases, it may be worth cooking with the old bottle and replacing it with fresh ingredients afterwards.

Whether it’s for cooking or dressing salad, ensure that whatever you use passes the taste test first!

can olive oil go bad

Is Olive Oil Better Off Without a Lid?

The answer is yes. Leaving an opened bottle of olive oil exposed to air can allow oxygen to rapidly react with the oil and cause it to turn rancid. Although this oxidation process can take place over time, it’s accelerated when the lid is not properly secured.

Rancid olive oil doesn’t just taste bad. It turns out that when cooking oils are exposed to oxygen and light the oxidation process will create byproducts called “toxins.” These are highly reactive compounds, which when consumed can cause detriments in human health and can even disrupt certain bio-chemical processes in cells.

What are the signs of rancid olive oil

When olive oil becomes rancid its color will change from golden-green to yellow or brown; the smell will become more intense and developed; and its initial fresh flavor will be replaced by an unpleasant flavor, described as a musty, sour or metallic odor.

How can you prevent your olive oil from going rancid?

In order to make sure that your olive oil stays fresh for longer periods of time you should store it away from heat, light, and air. Additionally, make sure the container that it’s stored in has a secure lid in order to prevent any oxygen exposure.

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By doing this you can extend its shelf life and keep using it for many months.

How High is Too High: At What Temperature Does Olive Oil Spoil?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Olive Oil have one major thing in common – they both will become unhealthy if heated past the smoke point. But what is the smoke point of these types of oil and how high is too high when it comes to cooking with olive oil?

At around 350ºF, stovetop cooking is already pushing the boundaries of what’s safe for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This type of oil has a smoke point between 350 to 410°F, meaning that any heat past this point can slowly break down the oil structure, resulting in an unhealthy cooking experience.

The same goes for Olive Oil or light-tasting Olive Oil, which has a slightly higher smoke point of 390 – 468°F. It’s important to remember that any temperature beyond these points will result in Olive Oil spoiling.

So when it comes to using oil for your sauces, stir-frys, and pans – make sure you are keeping an eye on the heat! Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be aware of the smoking point of your oil.
  • Consider using something other than olive oil for your high-heat cooking.
  • Never cook with oil at a temperature higher than its smoke point
  • Substitute a healthy alternative such as avocado oil or coconut oil for stir-frying or baking.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that you won’t be risking spoiling your lovely olive oils!

Using Olive Oil Beyond the Expiration Date – Is It Worth The Risk?

Are you worried that your bottle of olive oil has expired after the date printed on the label? Don’t be! Olive oil is a stable and versatile product, so it’s worth holding on to for a few more months.

You will extend the shelf life of your olive oil if you store it in a cool, dark place — like your pantry. It’s not necessary to refrigerate olive oil, and some producers even advise against it.

Knowing when it’s time to replace your olive oil can be tricky if you don’t keep track of when you opened the bottle. To help, here are some tell-tale signs that your olive oil has gone bad:

  • If there’s an off-odor or unpleasant taste.
  • If the color is dark or cloudy.
  • If there are visible particles floating around in your bottled oil.

Olive oil can last up to two years when stored properly.

Investing in a good-quality bottle means that you can trust where it’s from and how it was produced. When buying, look for bottles with certification seals from the North American Olive Oil Association or California Olive Oil Council.

To get the most out of your olive oil while it’s at its best, incorporate it into recipes or drizzle it over finished dishes instead of heating it up. That way, you’ll benefit from its wonderful properties, aroma, and flavor to the fullest!

Expired Olive Oil on Skin – What are the Consequences?

We all know the amazing benefits of olive oil for skin, but what happens if it’s been sitting in your cupboard a bit too long?

While there is a difference between rancid and expired oil, either one can cause a negative reaction if used on the skin. Truly rancid olive oil won’t hurt you, but it will cause irritation and won’t do much good.

If your expired olive oil still smells and tastes alright, then it is safe to use, however, you may not see the same effects as when you first purchased it.

Here are some potential negative reactions to using expired olive oil on the skin:

  • Itching: Expired olive oil may cause itching and redness due to its tendency to break down and make allergies worse.
  • Swelling: Exposure to expired olive oil may lead to swelling and inflammation from an allergic reaction.
  • Burning: If the oil has gone rancid it may actually begin to burn the skin. This typically occurs with prolonged contact.

When using expired olive oil on your skin, it’s best to start off with a small patch test before using it all over. You can apply a few drops of the expired oil to an inconspicuous part of your skin, such as behind an ear or in the bend of an elbow. If any irritation occurs within the next 24 hours, don’t continue use.

Keep in mind that expired olive oil won’t harm you if you consume it. It just may not taste as good as when new!