Legends about the healing properties of olive oil dats far back into the ancient times and have been scientifically validated over a decade ago. Olive oil is the most important source of fat in Mediterranean diet and cuisine rich in plants and vegetables, with moderate amount of food of animal origin. It is also considered to be one of the healthiest diet habits all over the world.
Olive oil is a base for many light and healthy recepies, but it is also used as a natural remedy for many health conditions. It is consumed all over the world and there are different types of olive oil, depending on the manufacture manner and a place of origin. It is rich in useful nutrients, it has delightful taste and it is one of the best choices among other plant oils. But, can it go bad?
Amazing properties of olive oil
Olives are the fruit of the evergreen tree, Olea europea, which grows all over the Mediterranean region. First olive trees were cultivated in prehistoric times, around 4000 BC in Central Asia. With people migrations, trees were later planted in the eastern Mediterranean where the production of oil began around 2000 BC.
Olives have fleshy husks full of natural oils. Olive seeds also contain an amount of oil, but lower quality. The oil is obtained through the process of milling or crushing and pressing of the ripe fruits. Oil of the greatest quality is dark green, transparent and without the bitter taste. Oil can be flavored with different spices, springs or herbs, citrus fruit. The most common additions are anise, rosemary, mint, juniper, dill and lemon.
Olive oil is characterized by a pleasant and unique aroma, derived from various ingredients. Most of the oil consists of useful and healthy fatty acids. The most important element in olive oil is monounsaturated oleic acid, which actually makes olive oil the healthiest fat and also very stable oil for cooking.
The most admired sort of olive oil is extra virgin or the first oil, which is obtained directly by the first pressing of the raw material. It contains the most of aromatic matter and it is distinctively dark green in color. The acidity in extra virgin olive oil is up to 1%, which makes it the oil of the highest quality.
Can it go bad?
How long does olive oil lasts and does it expire? Many people would tell that it can be used after the expiration date, but only if it is properly stored. Like other food, olive oil can go bad, but it last much longer. As long as the package of oil isn’t open, it could last about a year or even two. Of course, it needs to be stored in appropriate conditions. The best way of taking care of the quality of olive oil bottles is to store them in the pantry. Olive oil does not like sunlight, humidity and temperature changing. So, colder and dark places or even fridge could be the best solution.
How to tell if olive oil is gone bad?
Here are the four most common signs of defective olive oil, which can help us weed out the good oil from the bad. Olive oil is generally said to be good for one or two years from the date of production, but it is highly perishable. How to tell if it is not good?
Rancidity – All olive oil get rancid, especially if we use the bottle daily and expose the oil to air and light. If it smells like crayons and taste like rancid nuts and also has a greasy mouth feel it is probably gone bad. However, the thing is that the most of people are accustomed to the flavor of rancid oil, so they don’t recognize it.
Fusty oil – Oil can become fusty if olives sit too long before milling, which leads to fermentation. So, if the oil has a fermented smell, it should not be used.
Dusty oil – If the oil tastes dusty, it is probably made from moldy olives, which is occasional source of olive oil defect.
Wine flavor – If it tastes like vinegar or wine it means that olives probably underwent fermentation process with oxygen. It results with untasty, sharp flavor, which is obvious sign that it’s gone bad.