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Healthy
Science

BALANCE-SCALE

Olive Oil  VS.
Other Cooking Oils

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Usage
Tips

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Glossary

General FAQs

How do I store olive oil?

Olive oil is best stored at room temperature in a dark place away from the light. Storing olive oil in the fridge will cause it to solidify, but luckily this does not affect the quality of the oil which will return to its liquid state at room temperature.

How do I best drizzle olive oil over dishes?

Most olive oil bottles are fitted with a pouring aid that should allow you to drizzle mess-free.  For more control though you can drizzle olive oil by partially covering the opening of the bottle with your thumb, however it is always best to decant the oil into a cruet with a fine spout for a better result.

How do I decant olive oil?

To decant olive oil from a larger tin into a bottle, use a funnel and allow the oil to slowly stream into the bottle, taking care not to overfill it. Make sure to store it away from light.

How long can I keep olive oil stored?

The answer depends on what type and variety of olive oil you have.  Correctly stored olive oil generally should keep for at least 24 months.

What are the health benefits of olive oil?

There are many benefits claimed for olive oil, even for things as specialised as being a rich source of squalene.  While we don’t claim to be a definitive scientific source for health and nutrition, the most commonly talked about benefits of olive oil are that it is naturally high in monounsaturated fats, and that virgin olive oils have the added benefit of being rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, D, E and K.  Olive oil is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties and is therefore often used in topical and cosmetic products.  Read more about the Healthy Science of Olive Oil

Explain ‘smoke point’?

The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil begins to alter its composition (ie. burn), and is closely related to the “flash point” at which an oil will catch fire. The smoke point for a cooking oil varies widely depending on origin and refinement.  The smoke point for Extra Virgin Olive Oil is closely related to its free acidity and tends range between 170-210ºC (with higher quality oils having a higher smoke point), while normal Olive Oil (the blend of refined olive oil and extra virgin/virgin olive oil) tend to have smoke points ranging between 200-240ºC, depending on the quality and increasing with a decreasing amount of virgin/extra virgin olive oil.  Light/Light-Taste/Extra Light olive oils have the highest smoke point.

Tip: Healthy and ideal cooking temperatures for most foods do not go beyond ~190ºC, therefore you can happily cook with all olive oils, including good quality extra virgin olive oils.  For example the ideal deep-frying temperature is 170-190ºC, beyond which food can become oxidised/burnt or dried out.  When you are considering very high temperature cooking, an Olive Oil containing refined olive oil could be the best choice.  Aside its high smoke point, it is a healthier choice than other seed and vegetable oils, is usually the cheapest variety of olive oil and the additional benefits such as the flavour of a premium extra virgin olive oil will likely be long gone at these temperatures.

Does "Light" or "Extra Light" refer to light in calories?

No.  When it comes to olive oil, the term ‘light’ refers only to the light taste (and colour) of the oil.

Define "Extra Virgin"...

An Extra Virgin Olive Oil is produced from the first cold pressing of the olives, resulting in a rich, fruity and deep-flavoured oil that is free of taste defects. Read more here.

Which type of olive oil do I use to char-grill meat or vegetables?

Whichever you like!   For read meat, you may choose a variety of extra virgin olive oil that has a particularly strong taste, while for white meat, you may choose a more delicate-tasting olive oil.

If you are grilling or flash-frying at particularly high temperatures, or if you want to avoid any strong olive oil taste, we suggest you use a standard Olive Oil (ie. a blend of refined and virgin/extra virgin olive oils) to avoid the risk of having a burnt flavour.

Can I use olive oil to preserve food?

Olive oil is one of the most traditional ways to preserve food.  Simply top-up your jar or bottle of sauce with a layer of olive oil.  It will help stop the oxygen from getting to and oxidising your food.  This is a good trick to getting a few more weeks out of sauces you may have only used half the jar of.

For longer-life preservation we suggest additional consideration of heat-filling, sterilisation and other known preservation techniques.