The Storage of Olive Oil
IL Fiorello Olive Oil Co. mills for over 75 clients. Most people want the oil for private purposes and some clients will sell their oil. New oil right out of the centrifuge ranges from golden yellow to fluorescent green. Each variety of oil has its own color and taste. Early harvest and late harvest oil is often different in both color and taste. Some of the green color is varietal and some comes from the chlorophyll in the olives or sometimes from the little bit of leaves in the mixture. In master tasting and at certification, the color is immaterial and the sensory evaluation is done with dark blue glass to hide the influence of color on your tasting experience.
It is so interesting to mill for many people, because we get to see so many different types of olives and the oil they produce. Each oil represents a year of hard work for the growers. Everyone is anxious about how many pounds they have worked so hard to produce and how their oil tastes. As often as possible, as soon as the oil comes out of the second centrifuge, tastes are given to the owners. It is a time for celebration.
Almost everyone is asking us how to store and care for their precious oil. We have a handout but there are always more questions. So let’s discuss our recommendations.
- Always use clean new containers.
- Never use old containers, even if they have been washed well. (see photo below)
- Never use a metal container unless it is food grade, as that imparts a negative defect to the oil
- Keep the oil in a cool dark place
- Cool should be around 68° F, refrigeration is not necessary
- Top coverage with an inert gas is optional to prevent oxidation
- Food grade stainless steel tanks are good for larger quantities
- Decant the oil in about 6 to 8 weeks after the sediment has collected at the bottom of the container.
- Proper storage and temperature protection of oil is very important to the longevity of oil. This seems to be one of the critical issues facing many growers after producing a beautiful product.
Use your new oil as soon as possible for the best possible taste enjoyment. Thanksgiving and Christmas are days for new oil and good food and the celebration of a year’s work in the olive grove.