Why Does Olive Oil Come In A Green Bottle?

Olive oil is a common pantry staple that has been highly regarded throughout history for its rich flavor, versatility, and health benefits, but have you ever wondered why it's one of the few cooking oils that comes packaged in a green bottle? Hint: It's not just for aesthetics.

Olive oil, like all cooking oils, is susceptible to chemical changes that can turn the product rancid. Once a bottle of olive oil is opened, the oxidation process kicks in and the oil naturally begins to degrade. The type or quality of the olive oil plays a role, too. There are a few differences between regular and extra-virgin olive oil, including production methods and depth of flavor. Another difference is that a sealed bottle of regular olive oil tends to last about six months longer than extra-virgin olive oil held in the same conditions. But quality isn't the only factor here; the container your olive oil comes in can also play a role in how long it lasts.

How to keep olive oil from going bad

Whether it's glass or plastic, it turns out that a green-hued container is widely considered an easy way to protect olive oil from spoiling. But whichever version of olive oil you enjoy, simply storing it in a green bottle isn't enough to help it retain its quality month after month. Taste of Home suggests going a step further and storing it in a cool, dry location away from sunlight and using the oil within 3 to 6 months after opening. Unfortunately, olive oil doesn't last forever. If you've ever noticed a strange taste to your olive oil or a smell like crayons or stale peanuts, it's possible that it's finally past its prime.

But what other steps can you take to ensure the half gallon of olive oil you purchased stays palatable? Even though most olive oil bottles are green, is there a better option out there?

Well, therein lies the debate. Some argue that green isn't the best color for olive oil bottles after all, and that darker glass or different materials altogether can better extend the life of the product (via Olive Oil Times). Either way, not everyone is able to pick the best bottle color or material depending on what's available at the supermarket. To get serious about keeping the best quality olive oil on hand, the best thing to do is to store it in the ideal environment, pay attention to use-by dates, and trust your gut (and nose).