Can we freeze olive oil?

frozen olive oil

frozen olive oil

One of the questions I am often asked is whether you can freeze olive oil, and if by this process we can preserve the quality longer.

Let’s start by saying that clearly you can freeze olive oil and it is easily done by placing a bottle of oil in the freezer. After a few hours it will be a piece of green ice!

In order to avoid changes in the molecular structure of the oil, the operation of freezing, however, should take place very quickly, for example in liquid nitrogen, but this, for obvious reasons, is not easily implemented at home …!

But then, once the oil is frozen, what happens when we defrost it?

Here the problems arise. During the thawing phase, within the oil some bonds will break that lead to the separation of the fat mass from phenolic substances, responsible for all the positive healthy characteristics of olive oil, and the main components to prevent oxidation.

In the present case these molecules together with those of the water contained in the oil tend to fall down. The result? The oil life is drastically reduced. Within a few days It will end up  completely rancid, rotten.

frozen olive oil

frozen olive oil – melting

Regarding the sensory profile (smell and taste) there are no appreciable changes. From this point of view, the practice of freezing does not produce adverse effects.

From the above it follows that if you want to freeze the oil,  it’s best done with single doses, i.e. quantities that could be consumed within a few hours. One way would be for example to use the bags or trays for making ice.

In any case it is well to consider that freezing does not block all of the activities of deterioration. Slowed down, no doubt, but not inhibited at all.