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Keeping olive oil in the fridge


Fat Guy
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time I'm eating it, it is room temperature, although the little blobs seem a bit cooler. It's possible that Danish refrigerators are run a bit cooler than US ones, and that that may be responsible for the results (5C/41F is standard).

My refrigerator is at 3.33C (38F) but I never use oil from the refrigerator. I keep a cruet at room temperature, which I refill from the refrigerator every couple of weeks. I just haven't noticed any negative impact on flavor or texture from refrigeration, provided I'm using the oil after a decent amount of time back out of the refrigerator. Whereas, I do notice degradation with unrefrigerated oil after a few months. Just based on my very limited general knowledge, I don't see how cooling short of freezing would damage the stuff. Then again it is said to damage tomatoes, so who knows? I wonder who has studied olive-oil storage and where we can get the data.

Don't know about damage in the sense of actual chemical degradation; I just find that refrigerated olive oil changes flavour, and, at least in some cases, texture (not actually certain that the blobs are cooler, I've simply noticed them, felt unhappy, and tried my unreasonable best to keep them from touching the inside of my mouth on the way down... I really do find them incredibly awful).

But I have to admit, I also can't imagine any bottle of olive oil I buy lasting several weeks, let alone several months, so I've never had the problem of dealing with rancidity, or comparing it (at a purely taste/consistency level) to the unpleasantness of oil that has been refrigerated. In fact, now that I think of it, for all I know, the 'blobby' olive oil may have been previously frozen: It never occurred to me to ask, until now.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Canola oil isn't bad for you. It is actually a very good oil for cooking. People who are afraid of it are probably influenced, either directly or indirectly, by an urban legend started several years ago. It said some awful but totally untrue things about it. I am surprised that no one sticks up for it around here. I am surprised but don't know if at myself for not understanding why it is so frowned upon even today or at some of the people who find reasons to dislike it on 'trumped up' charges.

I dont use it due to unnatural omega 3/6 ratio, and due to its high PUFA content.

They are very easily oxidised during cooking. Coconut oil is quite stable, its

highly saturated so its safer to heat it. And it has almost no omega 6.

Better to stick with good EVOO, imo. Worst kind of oil is propably soybean oil.

You would have to eat tons of salmon to eaven out your omega 3/6 ratio if you

would use it. But its only used in some cheap packaged stuff, hopefully not at home.

I have health issues but i have now lower inflammation markers after using olive oil,

coconut oil, and dropping wheat. YMMV.

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Olive oil slowly solidifies in the fridge (via a "blobby" stage). However, when returned to room temperature, it is fully liquid again. If the oil is in a glass bottle, this can take some time (unless you use a hot water bath or some other method of heating).

This is one reason I try to only buy oil in 4-liter tins.

I'd like to find a local source for tins of Moroccan olive oil. But I think that's asking too much of the Las Vegas food scene.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Here's one source. 57 F is considerably warmer than a refrigerator, but read the whole article.

One reason the olive oil in the fridge isn't degrading is it isn't being opened every day or several times a day. It's not clear to me that is significantly better than would be achieved by keeping the bulk of the oil in the pantry and decanting every few days or so whatever amount. I've never tried it for comparison's sake. Up until now, I've simply kept it in the pantry.

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In an earlier post I gave a link to a Google search on storing olive oil and one of them (at Chowhound) has this:

"Actually, for fine olive oils, do not chill in the fridge for long; if any moisture is in the bottle (humid air, eg), it will condense and spoil the oil faster than if you had left it at room temp."

So one wouldn't want to take a cold bottle of oil out of the fridge and leave it open for any length of time on a hot humid day.

Also, from the Google search, Keeping Olive Oil Fresh by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. I don't know much about her except that she comes from Camden, Maine, a couple of towns over from where I live. And apparently divides her time between there and an olive farm in Tuscany. She also has a blog with two articles at the top on EVOO and one of them gets into "fusty oil". Interesting...

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Storing it in the refrig has no effect on flavor, it will solidify but room temp heat will resolve that. Remember it is a stone fruit (not a nut oil) so what you have is fresh fruit juice in a bottle, treat it as such. Minimize conact with light, heat and oxygen. I store +/-200 gallons in 55 gallon barrels lined with double plastic food grade bags and filled with Argon to reduce the oxygen content. Placed in a cold room <60 degrees it will exhibit some solidifying durine the cold months. The flavor changes do occur but under these conditions it takes months, not weeks. Maximum storage until used 2 years and that's stretching it. If you buy off the shelf be sure the bottle is a dark color, and avoid cork closures. Look for a harvest date not a use by date.

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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Storing it in the refrig has no effect on flavor, ....... so what you have is fresh fruit juice in a bottle, treat it as such. Minimize conact with light, heat and oxygen.

Well, that squares with my experience. Living in the desert, ambient temperature in my pantry is well above 90 for much of the year. Olive oil goes south quickly at such temperatures -- as do spices, which I also keep refrigerated.

It is FAR less expensive for me to run an extra 'fridge than to try and keep the house below 80f when it's 110f outside. Metal container (no light), 'fridge (low heat), don't open it often (minimize oxidation).

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Recycle a dark green, 750ml wine bottle and add a vacuum stopper instead of the tin can. Less space in the reefer and smaller bottle/quantities reduces oxidation.

If you like Morrocan oil read this and question why you pay taxes:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2011%2F09%2F18%2FMNTA1KSF5N.DTL

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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. . . . Remember it is a stone fruit (not a nut oil) so what you have is fresh fruit juice in a bottle, treat it as such. . . . .

Not exactly: True, olive oil is expressed from a fruit, but equally true, it is an oil, and not a juice (i.e in the sense of a suspension of plant solids in water), so suggesting it be treated as the latter is incorrect. Fruit juices treated as you describe would deteriorate rapidly.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Not everybody has a pantry or pantry-like room. People in apartments generally don't, and if they do their pantries aren't likely to be particularly cool, especially if they live in places with warm summers.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Not everybody has a pantry or pantry-like room. People in apartments generally don't, and if they do their pantries aren't likely to be particularly cool, especially if they live in places with warm summers.

Given that, refrigeration may be your best option, if the alternative of buying small, quickly used bottles isn't workable. It may not be ideal, but, going back to your original questions (one of them, anyway), refrigeration seems a better choice than rancidity.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I wasn't suggesting treating any fruit juice like that, just olive oil. I indicated it was a stone fruit not a nut oil, as someone had suggested in earlier posts. Olive oil producers worldwide often refer to it as juice.

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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It's certainly possible for me to buy smaller bottles, but the economics strongly favor quantities of at least a liter.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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