Extra virgin olive oil is basically the freshly squeezed juice of an olive tree. The olive oil extraction process results in the presence of pulp and olive particles in the oil. Most commercial olive oil is filtered to remove sediment. But is unfiltered olive oil better?
Filtered extra virgin olive oil can have a cloudy appearance due to olive particles being suspended in the oil. Some people find that unfiltered olive oil tastes better. But filtered and unfiltered oil have the same health benefits. There is one big difference between filtered and unfiltered olive oil and that is shelf life.
The olive particles in the unfiltered extra virgin olive oil continue to ferment in the bottle. The sediment at the bottom of the bottle accelerates the oxidation of the olive oil after opening the container. Filtering helps maintain stability and preserve the healthy properties of your olive oil.
When purchasing unfiltered olive oil, look for the freshest bottles available and use the bottle quickly once opened. As with all olive oils, protect from heat and oxygen and ensure the cap is tightly closed between uses.
Filtration is a matter of personal preference. Enjoy your extra virgin olive oil filtered or unfiltered.