01 Jun What is Olio Nuovo?
In the July 2019 Edition of OliveCare® NEWS, we discussed the shelf life of ‘olio nuovo’, (Italian for “new oil”) which is the first-press of new seasons extra-virgin olive oil (it is unsettled and unfiltered).
There is no reason consumers can’t enjoy a new season unsettled oil – providing they use it up quickly, which depending on the storage temperature could be as little as a month or two before off flavours from oxidation and hydrolysis become evident.
We don’t have any actual research papers on this matter, but the reason for the expected shorter life of unsettled olive oil is the very reason we ‘settle’, ‘purge’ and ‘rack off’ new seasons olive oil to achieve a more stable longer shelf life product. Otherwise the sediment and moisture settles to the bottom of the bottle where oxidation and hydrolysis occurs producing off flavours such as ‘fusty’ and ‘muddy sediment’. A couple of trade references on shelf life of Olio Nuovo:
“Olio nuovo is the freshest olive oil available and is not meant to be kept long. It’s made to be enjoyed as a seasonal treat, much like Beaujolais Nouveau wine of France. It is more perishable than other extra virgin olive oils which have been allowed to settle before bottling. Olio nuovo typically has a shelf life of 3 – 6 months where other extra virgin olive oil can keep for about 18 months if stored properly. Store any extra virgin olive oil in a cool, dark cabinet away from heat and light, preferably in a dark coloured bottle.”
”How long will olio nuovo last? Yes, it is true that the great amount of sediment in nuovo shortens the life of the oil. Well structured and filtered extra virgin oil will stay fresh for two years or longer. Unfiltered oil will not last near as long and a nuovo even less. There are, however, many factors that affect the freshness and longevity of olive oil. Exposure to heat, light, and air are important factors, but so is the production method, especially the age of the olives. Green, young olives (with high polyphenol antioxidant content) produces oil with greater longevity – and greater health benefits. So, the answer is not so simple.”
Olio Nuovo 2020 supply:
A quick search of the ‘web’ lists the following brands with ‘olio nuovo’ products:
Cobram Estate Limited Release First Harvest Australian Ultra Premium EVOO
Pre-order: $40 for 500 ml
Olio Bello Liquid Gold Frantoio EVOO Olio Nuovo:
Pre-order: $30 for 500 ml (2019 price)
Grampians Estate Toscana Olio Nuovo organic cold pressed EVOO
Pre-order: $25.00 for 500 ml
Kyneton Olive Oil Olio Nuovo EVOO
Pre-order: $35 for 750 ml