Unlike other products like wine, olive oil does not improve with time. But the answer to how long an extra virgin olive oil will be extra virgin, depends on many factors.
First of all, we know that each olive oil is very different from the rest even if it comes from the same harvest of another year. The antioxidant content, typically measured as polyphenols, varies in each olive oil from two to three times. These polyphenols are not only beneficial to human health, also contributes to a longer life of the oil.
There are also “filtered” and “unfiltered” olive oils on the market, with benefits that add value to both. The filtration removes residual water and sediments that remain of the olive fruit, extending the life of the olive oil. These two elements are linked to the “freshness” of the olive oil and sold as fresh olive oil in international markets. However, it makes necessary its consumption in three to six months at the latest after harvest.
Another factor is storage conditions. A transparent bottle of olive oil in the store shelf or kitchen cupboard will shorten the life of extra virgin olive oil. The light exposure and the explosure at temperatures higher than 21 ° C is the most important factors to reduce its quality.
Finally, another major cause of deterioration of its quality is the air contact, which leads to oxidation.