Olive oil in addition to other uses, is an excellent preservative for storing and preserving fresh products.
Its use for the maintenance of various products are known since antiquity. It has the capacity to embrace any product drizzle with olive oil and the cuts its contact with the air, giving its mild antimicrobial properties.
It used for preserving fresh and aromatic herbs, vegetables, pickles and sauces. You will see it in jars sunk into the vegetables, olives, fresh herbs, or as an overlay over the sauce brine products. The famous Italian Pesto sauce owes its creation to the need for preservation of fresh basil in olive oil during the winter months.
It also maintains even meat for a short period, fish fillets such as sardines and anchovies, even cheeses either by admixing to them, such as the famous “ladotyri” or by immersing them in the oil combined with dried flavoring.
Apart from the oil many times we find the parallel use of salt, spices, vinegar and lemon for maintenance, products that contribute and assist in antimicrobial protection as the oil itself is sometimes weak.