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Old 02-07-2013, 01:26 PM
canadabis canadabis is offline
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How many years does it take before refined and filtered olive oil that's kept in dark bottles in a basement turns rancid?

Googling it has not got me the answer. There are a lot of opinions out there but no INFORMED opinions. One guy said that with time, the olive oil will lose in flavour. Ok, but that does not address the shelf life-for-survival-question.

Rotation is not an option, because my survival retreat is far from where I live.

Intuitively for me, olive oil lasts for decades. But I don't want to be stuck in a survival situation where I open my old bottles to find they've gone bad.

Right now at home I use 5 year old oil, and it's just fine.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:08 PM
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In my experience it rarely makes it past a year or so unless you keep it in the freezer. In which case is lasts pretty much forever until you take it out, then the clock starts ticking.

As with any fat, rancidity is the main concern. The highly saturated fats are more resistant to it than the lesser saturated ones such as olive oil.

I'm beginning to switch my fat storage over to coconut oil. It lasts a lot longer and has some positive health benefits.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:10 PM
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I just opened a 3 year old jug of Costco brand...Perfectly fine. No smell of rancidity.
We keep ours stored in a cold shed.
It takes oxygen to cause rancidity. There is little head space in the jug, so the amount of "air" is negligible.
If you have a two year supply, and rotate, you should be set!
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:49 PM
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I just opened a 3 year old jug of Costco brand...Perfectly fine. No smell of rancidity.
We keep ours stored in a cold shed.
It takes oxygen to cause rancidity. There is little head space in the jug, so the amount of "air" is negligible.
If you have a two year supply, and rotate, you should be set!
If the jar is glass, the small headspace is a help. But the plastic ones lets O2 through the plastic itself. That's why olive oil in metal cans has traditionally been the longest lasting.

I have long theorized that O2 is soluble in oil like it is in water. I think this because oil that has been heat sealed, such as in canning, tends to last a very long time compared to oil that hasn't. Heat drives gasses out of solution.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:56 PM
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If any has gone rancid, I think you can still use it to make soap. The highly refined stuff also probably lasts longer than the good stuff - trade off.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:06 PM
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All I've read are opinions too...some say technically even rancid olive oil isn't bad because it can't go rancid enough to make it bad if it was in an opque glass bottle.

This is how you can store hard cheeses like parmesian in jars completely submerged in olive oil and it will last indefinately. I have around 10 bottles from Sam's Club that I rotate, if I find myself with too many I usually give some away as presents or use them as payment for babysetters! People love a nice bottle of olive oil as a gift or barter item.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:07 PM
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In my experience it rarely makes it past a year or so unless you keep it in the freezer. In which case is lasts pretty much forever until you take it out, then the clock starts ticking.

As with any fat, rancidity is the main concern. The highly saturated fats are more resistant to it than the lesser saturated ones such as olive oil.

I'm beginning to switch my fat storage over to coconut oil. It lasts a lot longer and has some positive health benefits.
Mike, your olive oil is rancid after only one year of storage?? My experience is entirely different. Mine is five years old and fine. Mine is a "extra virgin" variety that comes in dark glass bottles.

I am still looking for reports of people who have opened good-quality olive oil in quality containers, and had to throw it away because it was rancid. I can assert that 5 years is the absolute minimum.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:25 PM
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Yup I concur.... I stocked up on extra virgin olive oil in glass bottles back in 2008 and we're still going strong with it. The oil solidifies during winter (It's stored in the garage) But once brought back to room temperature it's as good as ever.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by canadabis View Post
Mike, your olive oil is rancid after only one year of storage?? My experience is entirely different. Mine is five years old and fine. Mine is a "extra virgin" variety that comes in dark glass bottles.

I am still looking for reports of people who have opened good-quality olive oil in quality containers, and had to throw it away because it was rancid. I can assert that 5 years is the absolute minimum.
I live in a warm climate and use no A/C so my foods are exposed to a little higher average temp than most peoples. But even back before there were websites like this one, the folks on the misc.survivalism newsgroup had trouble getting 2 years out of olive oil.

Mine is fine at a year, but starts to go noticeably downhill after that. I am also a little more sensitive to the smell of rancidity than some people too.

In fact, sensing rancid fats is an odd thing. Some people can't smell it at all. Some can only smell it when the rancidity is high. And some can smell even traces of it. So we can't always trust our nose unless we know where we stand with our ability to smell rancidity.

As Alan Hagan, author of the Food Storage FAQ used to say "even a little rancid is a little toxic." I'm just moving on to better options.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:16 PM
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I have olive oil from Sam's Club. I also have found mine good after 3 years.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:26 PM
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An Australian study here on olive oil storage.

Bottom line of the study was: storing high quality extra virgin oil in glass, protected from light, kept at 59 degrees F, oxygen purged, at 36 months had no rancidity and good flavor profile

36 months was the extent of the trials. Temperature being lower than 59F would certainly increase the storability quite a lot.

Some of the variables that a consumer couldn't select for involve speed of handling of the olives during harvest and pressing. Sounds like an EVOO from a large bottler might have better storage qualities than from a small artisan bottler.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:32 PM
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Olive oil out of coscto plasic into 1/2 gal. glass ball jars, screw on the lid and ring and off to the chest freezer. Will last forever and if SHTF and I loose all power even off grid solar it starts the clock on 3-4 years. No brainer.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ZombieHoneyBadger View Post
An Australian study here on olive oil storage.

Bottom line of the study was: storing high quality extra virgin oil in glass, protected from light, kept at 59 degrees F, oxygen purged, at 36 months had no rancidity and good flavor profile

36 months was the extent of the trials. Temperature being lower than 59F would certainly increase the storability quite a lot.

Some of the variables that a consumer couldn't select for involve speed of handling of the olives during harvest and pressing. Sounds like an EVOO from a large bottler might have better storage qualities than from a small artisan bottler.
At 59 degrees that makes a lot of sense. Fats are temperature sensitive. I keep my oil in the freezer now for long term storage. Since our average temperatures are a lot higher than that, I don't get the shelf life that some others are getting.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:15 AM
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I am starting to change my mind on fat storage and may well go with what Mike does. That is, coconut oil. I've been reading that when properly stored, it lasts indefinitely.
I would only consider liquid virgin coconut oil. The solid variety has been hydrogenated and that is just bad.
So thanks Mike -- I might well switch my fat source. With a life span measured in decades, 100 kg sounds a good starting quantity to haul up to the retreat.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadabis View Post
I am starting to change my mind on fat storage and may well go with what Mike does. That is, coconut oil. I've been reading that when properly stored, it lasts indefinitely.
I would only consider liquid virgin coconut oil. The solid variety has been hydrogenated and that is just bad.
So thanks Mike -- I might well switch my fat source. With a life span measured in decades, 100 kg sounds a good starting quantity to haul up to the retreat.
Sorry, not quite correct. Coconut oil is naturally a solid under 76 degrees farenheit and a liquid above it.

Coconut oil MAY be hydrogenated for sale in the tropics, so that it will remain a stable solid at a higher temperature, but just buy a good quality virgin oil from a reputable supplier and its a non-issue.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:34 AM
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Don't old time lamps use olive oil to burn and that folks have found them centuries alter and the oil still burns...or am i thinking of a different type of oil?

Beware of using too much coconut anything...can get some serious diarhea.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
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Don't old time lamps use olive oil to burn and that folks have found them centuries alter and the oil still burns...or am i thinking of a different type of oil?

Beware of using too much coconut anything...can get some serious diarhea.
Olive oil lamps are still used today. We have six so far that we made at home using tall glass mugs and canning jars. I prefer these to candles for safety reasons. If one of the animals manages to knock one over the oil will extinguish the flame, although we still didn't leave them lit and unattended.

They're really easy to make, and they came in handy during the power outage from Hurricane Sandy.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:41 PM
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3 gallons from wally in the plastic. 2 yrs at 60F. 2 have separation, yellow globules inside. The other is still going strong.

Using it for fuel anyway. No water inside it probably will not matter and will burn fine. I hope
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:44 PM
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MikeK- With your temps the way they are, have you ever considered using an antioxidant like Vit E to extend shelf life of your more brittle oils? A lot of us soapers add Vit E to our oils to retard oxidation. I would suggest getting a brand that is food grade though, (as if that wasn't obvious).
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:49 PM
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I have no problems storing olive oil for years at a time and using it. I generally get it metal containers and keep it cool. Olive oil is not an additive but a staple for me. In fact, I like to drink and ounce or two with breakfast. As such, if it was bad, I would certainly notice an off taste.
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