Packaging and Re-Packaging Olive Oil
The finest oil, without regard to the care taken during cultivation of the fruit, harvesting, transport, and processing, will suffer degradation if not packaged correctly. Bulk storage, with a low surface area to volume ratio, dark storage sheltered from UV light, and, if possible, nitrogen displacing oxygen in the storage vessel, contribute to maintaining quality, nutritional and anti-oxidant value.
Effective packaging options range from stainless steel fusti to UV protected dark glass bottles. Clear, untinted glass bottles can be used for short periods of a week or two, but avoid purchasing oils in untinted bottles without packaging dates or displayed on store shelves for indeterminate periods.
Nearly all of the olive oil sold in the United States has traveled by ocean freight from the Mediterranean and may have been in the bottle for months before it makes the thirty-to-sixty-day crossing. It may be months more before the oil makes its way to the retail outlet where it is finally purchased. It is unfortunate that a significant portion of olive oil sold in the United States would fail to pass a grading test if it were retested at the point of sale.
Olive oil is a seasoning as well as a food and should be considered a fresh addition to cuisine. Use and enjoy it at its freshest and best.