Greenish glass helps olive oil last longer on supermarket shelves

Green glass bottles
Greenish glass bottles help to prevent degradation of olive oil by keeping light away.

Recent research conducted at the University of Pisa shows that storing extra virgin olive oil in greenish glass can help to slow down or even prevent degradation during retail storage.

The researchers found that after 125 days at 6°C, samples of EVOO stored in greenish glass at 6 °C retained their positive sensory attributes, whereas those stored in tinplate tin at 26 °C became rancid due to oxidation.

Packaging can directly influence olive oil quality by protecting it from two of the main factors that cause oxidation: oxygen and light (Lanza et al., 2014).

Study targets retail storage

While many previous studies have looked at the best form of packaging for extra virgin olive oil, this particular study was concerned about evaluating the effects of packaging and storage conditions on EVOO at point of sale. Testing was carried out after the oil had been stored in stainless steel tanks for several months, and held for several more months after packaging. This was done to mimic the conditions that EVOO experiences when it is sold in retail stores such as supermarkets and specialty food outlets.

Greenish glass and tinplate tin were chosen as the test packaging media because they are the most commonly used materials for packaging of extra virgin olive oil that is sold in retail stores.

Packaging can help to slow or even prevent further degradation

The study showed that the choice of packaging can positively influence the rate of degradation of olive oil during retail storage. Although the oil used in this study had clearly begun an oxidative process, the use of appropriate packaging was able to slow or even completely prevent the oxidative process.

More information

The very detailed research report can be found on the Heliyon website.


– Volume 4, Issue 11.