Olive oil, unlike wine, does not improve with age. The peak of quality is essentially the moment the olives are picked from the tree, and from that moment on air, light, and heat all contribute to loss of quality - that’s why it’s so crucial that the olives are brought to the mill right away, why our mill stores the oil in tanks filled with nitrogen right up until it’s packaged (to keep out oxygen), and why we encourage you to enjoy it liberally rather than holding onto it for a long time. It’s also why we choose to pack in tinplate cans instead of glass bottles.
Packaging and Quality
Multiple studies have come to the conclusion that tinplate cans are one of the best packaging options for olive oil, since they block light rays that can contribute to a decline in quality. Have you ever noticed clear glass bottles of olive oil on the top shelf in the supermarket, fluorescent lights beaming down on them? You probably shouldn’t opt for those.
While many consumers like being able to see the color of the oil, color isn’t necessarily always a correct indicator of quality; olive oil tasters use blue glasses for tasting oil so they can’t be influenced by the shade of the oil, and there have been cases of large olive oil companies actually adding pigment to their oil to give it a vibrant green hue.
A better indicator of quality (when you can’t taste the oil, of course) is how much the packaging blocks light - so a dark bottle, a bottle in a box, or, even better, a can, will likely contain a better-preserved oil.
Variety and Filtration
Our oil, a Koroneiki monovarietal, also stays fresh for longer because it's known to contain high amounts of polyphenols, antioxidants that are not only very beneficial for your health, but which also prolong shelf life. In addition, we opt for filtered oil (which at our mill means the oil just passes through a thin paper sheet) because unfiltered oil has to sit for longer to allow sediment to settle, and the particles in unfiltered oil can likewise shorten shelf life.
Another reason we prefer tinplate cans to glass is that they’re less prone to breakage and are lighter, which means they‘re easier and more efficient to ship. When it comes to efficiency, we also prefer tinplate because it’s easily recyclable. While glass is recyclable, its recycling rate is lower than metals like tinplate because it’s more profitable for recycling companies to recycle metal than glass.
So enjoy our well-preserved oil and make sure to recycle the can when you’re finished!