2

votes

How to tell if olive oil has gone rancid?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 04, 2011 at 1:25 AM

I had a huge bottle of organic olive oil from costco in (dark, cool) storage for about 6 months. I pulled it out and have been using it lately but am paranoid it's gone bad. How can I tell? I read that it will taste sort of pumpkin-y but it's hard to tell. It has almost a hot pepper tang to it though, reminds me of olive oil I get in italian chain restaurants (when they serve with bread).

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on October 02, 2013
at 07:30 PM

Olive oil is supposed to burn a little in the back of your throat. Ees goot for yoo. (Seriously, I've heard it has something to do with the anti-inflammatory properties of it, aside from the omega 3s.

7fbbc3d2c38e83cf9f6d5dad0320a23a

(0)

on October 01, 2013
at 09:19 PM

Hilarious. But seriously, is this true? Do you really need the fresh oil for comparison? Would just the rancid oil heat them up, or is there something in the chemistry of the two oils in proximity that causes the hotness? Fascinating what you can learn on the internets.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:03 PM

Ha, I'm a super-smeller too. Blessing/Curse, that.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 07, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Yep, Kim; the Nose knows, doesn't it?

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:58 PM

Erik, your right the slight burn is the polyphenols. Not really sure how you can tell when it goes rancid. I keep mine refrigerated, buy a small bottle so it won't sit around long. I also buy in a tin or dark tinted glass that blocks light.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:51 AM

Yeah. I use olive oil that's spicy from the get go. I like it.

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 04, 2011
at 03:01 AM

Rose this is so funny... I am the "supernose" in my house, and I have one daughter that has the knack for it (I say that she is 'in training'). No sicknesses for something I smelled, to date! The other day my husband bought a Carl's jr cheeseburger and I immediately got the 'rotten meat smell'. But he ate it said it was fine. Yep, I was right. He will listen to me next time! Thank God I don't eat that stuff. :)

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:30 AM

Is that okay? I just threw it out and bought a new one.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:03 AM

Pretty sure the peppery finish indicates high polyphenol content rather than rancidity.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on May 04, 2011
at 01:35 AM

The slight burning taste? Yeah that's what it tastes like. Damn.

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8 Answers

1
Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

on June 30, 2011
at 01:49 PM

It might be more cost effective to buy the gigantaur bottles from Costco but personally, I stick to the smaller ones (250-500ml) to avoid this exact predicament. I really don't want to take the chance that the oils I'm using might be oxidized before I put them in my body.

That being said, I hardly use olive oil at all anymore. Bacon fat and ghee are my go to's.

But if it doesn't taste or smell good, it isn't.

1
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 01:24 PM

If opened - 1 year stored in a cool dark space. 2 years if unopened. I actually keep all my oils in the refrigerator- NY apartments are too messed up with heat during the winter and summer, so it was the only way to keep them safe from spoiling. Extra Virgin was the only one that I didn't 'fridge as the lower acidity level let it keep longer and I would use it more often than the others. I think you're probably fine but it you're worried, toss it. You're not going to enjoy your food otherwise :)

1
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on June 30, 2011
at 06:51 AM

A lot of good olive oil has a distinctly peppery taste - it is fine. Don't for goodness sake throw it because of that!

There are many different "types" of olive and they all taste different - even the place it grows has an effect on the taste - much as grape varieties and location.

If it has gone rancid - even a little - the smell gives it away. And it is more obvious heated too. Try warming a little, dip a veg in and taste it too - you'll know if it has gone off. I reckon in a dark place, it will keep from one olive harvest to the next...

1
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:52 AM

I've got a super-sensitive nose and can tell immediately if olive oil or any other fat has gone rancid. It's an unmistakeable odor, even when it's faint. I would ask around among friends and family and see who's got the supernose (they'll know who they are -- they can smell a gas leak four houses down).

Not sure what a "burning" taste means -- that hasn't been my experience, but then again, since I can smell it, I don't then go and taste it... :)

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 07, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Yep, Kim; the Nose knows, doesn't it?

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 04, 2011
at 03:01 AM

Rose this is so funny... I am the "supernose" in my house, and I have one daughter that has the knack for it (I say that she is 'in training'). No sicknesses for something I smelled, to date! The other day my husband bought a Carl's jr cheeseburger and I immediately got the 'rotten meat smell'. But he ate it said it was fine. Yep, I was right. He will listen to me next time! Thank God I don't eat that stuff. :)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:03 PM

Ha, I'm a super-smeller too. Blessing/Curse, that.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on October 02, 2013
at 07:30 PM

Olive oil is supposed to burn a little in the back of your throat. Ees goot for yoo. (Seriously, I've heard it has something to do with the anti-inflammatory properties of it, aside from the omega 3s.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on October 01, 2013
at 11:21 PM

Really fresh olive oil is very peppery and could have also grassy flavors. It loses those flavors in about a month and becomes, well, oily. I buy 5 gallons at a time in December or January, in the dark in the basement it keeps well for over a year. I would recommend buying metal cans whenever possible. In a can and refrigerated, olive oil stays good for a long time.

0
D92547ed20bdfeebaa0d976c6b201dcc

(0)

on June 29, 2013
at 03:37 AM

Put some on one of your balls and fresh olive oil on the other. If your balls heat up the oil is rancid.

7fbbc3d2c38e83cf9f6d5dad0320a23a

(0)

on October 01, 2013
at 09:19 PM

Hilarious. But seriously, is this true? Do you really need the fresh oil for comparison? Would just the rancid oil heat them up, or is there something in the chemistry of the two oils in proximity that causes the hotness? Fascinating what you can learn on the internets.

-1
D54290f91bd8c2ff9fdf2f519933bf3e

(1231)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

olive oil should probably taste like olive oil...not spicy pumpkins. toss it.

-1
Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on May 04, 2011
at 01:30 AM

I thought the burn was what gave rancid oil away.

EDIT: Looks like I'm totally wrong. Thanks for the correction, all, and sorry I made you throw out the olive oil :(:(

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:03 AM

Pretty sure the peppery finish indicates high polyphenol content rather than rancidity.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on May 04, 2011
at 01:35 AM

The slight burning taste? Yeah that's what it tastes like. Damn.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:30 AM

Is that okay? I just threw it out and bought a new one.

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:58 PM

Erik, your right the slight burn is the polyphenols. Not really sure how you can tell when it goes rancid. I keep mine refrigerated, buy a small bottle so it won't sit around long. I also buy in a tin or dark tinted glass that blocks light.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:51 AM

Yeah. I use olive oil that's spicy from the get go. I like it.

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