Best Containers for Storing/Selling Olive Oil

Which are the most used packaging containers to store or sell olive oil?

To protect the quality and longevity of the olive oil, it is essential to store it in suitable packaging. Olive oil must be stored at a constant temperature, about 14-18 °C (57-64 °F), protected from light and air.

The packaging should be suitable for food storage and especially olive oil (to avoid contamination with foreign materials), and protect the product from oxidation. However, in some cases, it is important to take into account the specific preferences and requirements of the target market and consumers. These preferences may differ from the best practices.

Based on UC. Davis findings the most effective packaging for olive oil is dark glass, stainless steel (inox steel, especially for storing larger quantities), coated paperboard, and bag-in-box.

What do consumers like? Many olive oil farmers choose to bottle their product in glass bottles, transparent or not since consumers still prefer them. Consumers prefer transparent bottles so that can see the color of the olive oil.

Glass bottles

Glass bottles provide good protection as they are excellent barrier against light (if it is dark), oxygen, and moisture. The material does not interact with the oil, and it helps to preserve the flavor and quality. Additionally, they are reusable and recyclable. Additionally, they are usually considered the best option for premium olive oils with health claims, efficiently protecting the olive oil quality and allowing it to be sold in smaller packages. However, in supermarkets, many olive oils are sold in bottles of 1, 2, or 5 liters.

Plastic containers – Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

Some prefer plastic containers for the packaging of edible oils (like olive oil) due to the lower cost and weight and the good durability facilitating product transportation.

Among them, PET is the most popular packaging material. It is superior and more resistant to oxygen and fat permeability, preserving the quality of the product better and for longer compared to the Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bottles used in the past. However, this material is usually not protecting the olive oil from light efficiently, and gradually its porous material permits the penetration of humidity and gases.

Tinplate cans 

It is a commonly used material for olive oil storage. The benefits of the material are its low weight and acceptable resistance to mechanical damage while at the same time protecting the oil from oxygen and light. On the other hand, it has a lower acceptance rate from consumers and has been found to perform worse than PET and glass containers regarding preserving the olive oil quality.

Stainless steel 

While it is heavy and expensive for commercial use, this material has many advantages as an olive oil packaging. It offers excellent protection from light, humidity, oxygen, and pathogens, and that is why it is highly preferred for storing oil in massive quantities in storage facilities and for long transportation of the product.

Coated paperboard packages 

They are gaining popularity thanks to their low cost, weight, and good product protection. However, it may not gain the consumers’ acceptance since it is not transparent. This packaging has been found to perform better from both plastic and glass, protecting the oil from oxygen and light, expanding its self-life up to 2 years, and preserving the antioxidants of the olive oil. 


This is another option for storing olive oil, with similar advantages to the coated paperboard packages but it is less studied and does not keep the product as fresh for long periods as the previously mentioned option.



Piscopo, A., & Poiana, M. (2012). Packaging and storage of olive oil. Olive germplasm—the olive cultivation, table olive and olive oil industry in Italy, 201-222.

Dabbou, S., Gharbi, I., Brahmi, F., Nakbi, A., & Hammami, M. (2011). Impact of packaging material and storage time on olive oil quality. African Journal of Biotechnology, 10(74), 16929-16936.

Sanmartin, C., Venturi, F., Sgherri, C., Nari, A., Macaluso, M., Flamini, G., … & Zinnai, A. (2018). The effects of packaging and storage temperature on the shelf-life of extra virgin olive oil. Heliyon, 4(11).



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