It’s possible to keep the chemical and organoleptic characteristics of both virgin oil and olive oil unaltered for long periods of time, provided it is stored in the proper way.
- Temperature: the optimum preservation temperature is 14-18° C. Higher temperatures accelerate degenerative chemical reactions. At lower temperatures, on the other hand, the oil tends to solidify, but without losing its initial nutritional and organoleptic characteristics. Frozen oil can be brought back to the fluid state by raising it above 18° C for a few hours.
- Oxygen: contact with air leads to a series of oxidation reactions that alter the chemical composition of our food and radically change its color, odor and flavor; in the case of oil, making it inedible. Luckily, genuine olive oils contain a number of minor compounds, including tocopherols and polyphenols, that not only boost its nutritional value but also provide powerful anti-oxidation properties capable of safeguarding the oil over time.
- Light: oil kept in a transparent glass bottle and exposed to sunlight or artificial light will quickly change color and flavor. Contrary to supposition, oils of an intense green colour (due to their abundant chlorophyll) must be protected even more carefully from light.