I have two largish containers of extra virgin olive oil. One is ~5 months old, the other is ~17 months old.

Any way to distinguish which is which?

  • 1
    did you give them a taste?
    – moscafj
    Commented May 11, 2022 at 15:39
  • 4
    If sold commercially I would expect them to have a best before date printed on them. I've only grown a handful of olives in my life (and ate those) but when home-making jams etc. I label with the date of production. Unfortunately traces of oil can affect labelling
    – Chris H
    Commented May 11, 2022 at 15:43
  • @Chris H They are not commercial, but neither do they have dates on them. Commented May 11, 2022 at 15:47
  • @moscafj Just did. Oil A feels a bit bitter, oil B feels somehow "lighter" than A, and not bitter. Commented May 11, 2022 at 15:48
  • Are the two bottles of oil from the same source?
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


"Unlike wine, olive oil does NOT improve with age. As olive oil gets older, it gradually breaks down, the acidity level rises, and flavor weakens. Extra virgin olive oil keeps better because it starts with a low acidity level, but it should ideally be consumed within 18-24 months of harvest."


  • 3
    This doesn't answer the question. Commented May 11, 2022 at 18:14
  • 3
    This sounds like the beginning of an answer, but you need to edit it so it addresses the question asked. How can you use this information to tell the difference?
    – GdD
    Commented May 11, 2022 at 19:11
  • 1
    As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented May 17, 2022 at 21:33
  • So… if it becomes more acidic, litmus paper?
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 23:38
  • @Joe Litmus paper simply gives you a binary (red=acidic or blue=alkaline) result; so unless the ageing happened to bring the acidity level across that line, it wouldn't tell you might. I'd suggest something like universal indicator paper, which has a wide range of colours that can (approximately) identify a wide range of pH values.
    – gidds
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 22:21

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