How to Preserve Olives? – Complete Guide

How to Preserve Olives

So what are olives? The Olives grow from the olive tree. The first olive discovery was on the border between Syria and turkey. Later on, people from Europe, the USA, and Mediterranean regions adopted the farming of olives. There are also Middle East regions that grow olive. Since it grows from a tree that means it's a fruit. Thanks to its culinary uses and its bitter taste, some use it as a vegetable. Before they ripen, they have a green color, but their color changes to black or even dark purple once they ripen. Their taste is bitter. So, why should anyone want the bitter olives?

If you want perfect results when making sandwiches and salad, then you need to have some olive. Other than giving your dish an excellent taste, olives come with great health benefits. It contains healthy monounsaturated fats. This fat is not only good for your heart health but also reduces the risk of inflammation. It's rich in vitamin E to neutralize the free radicals, thus protecting your body against cancer. It also protects your bones and connective tissues and protects your skin from harmful UV rays.

A high-quality jar of olive is expensive. Other than salad and sandwiches, people also produce olive oil from the olives. Since olives are costly and beneficial, proper preservation is vital. Eating spoiled olives may result in foodborne diseases. So, how fast do olives go bad?

The Shelf Life of Olives

When buying any product from the store, you should consider the best by date or sell-by date. In the case of olive, you get best by date. With proper preservation, your olives will still last long past the best by dates. So, what's the shelf life of the olives?

Unopened Jar

After buying a jar of olive, avoid opening it if you are not ready to use it. Note that light affects the olive quality; thus, you need to keep its dark side of your cupboard pantry. When at room temperature, it can remain okay for 3- months. 

Opened Jar

Assuming you bought the olive jar and need to use some to make a salad. What will happen to the leftovers? Note that different olive brands have different instructions regarding how long the olive will last after opening the jar. Some will instruct you to clear the entire content within two weeks, while others will recommend a longer season. So, why should the brands give different recommendations?

Note that olive oil is stored in brine to prolong its useful life. The brine's preservations and the salt content will determine how long the opened jar will remain fresh. If you're not sure about the instructions, use it within three weeks after opening the jar. 

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Signs of Spoilt Olives

Do olives go bad? Just like other fruits and vegetables, olives go bad. So, how will you know if the olives are bad? Assuming you have never opened the container and then realize that the jar is leaking and the top part is rusty, should you use those olives? You should automatically know that the olives inside have spoilt. That means you need to discard the jar safely. 

If you have opened the jar, it's easy to know if the content has gone bad. Start by smelling it; if it has a bad smell, then discard it. Also, consider the texture. Note that if the olives are in the brine, then the brine typically affects the color. So, if they have no other signs of spoiling but only a pale color, proceed to use them. But if the olives have a mold covering and a cloudy appearance, throw them away.

How to Store Olives 

If you bought liquid-packed olives, then follow the instructions. If you have not opened the bottle, ensure that the brine completely covers the olive to prolong their freshness. Refrigerate in your fridge and make sure that the container is completely sealed.  

How to Store Olives Without Brine

In most cases, olives that are liquid packs come with brine. But if the brine is not available, then vinegar and oil can help to preserve your olives. The brine is the best liquid to help preserve the olives. Whether you have opened or not opened the jar, use the content within 2-4 weeks if you use oil.  

If you accidentally mess around with your brine, you have the opportunity of making some on your own. The ingredients include the water and the salt. Pick some water and add salt. Note that for each cup of water you use, you need to add ½ salt tsp. Ensure the content covers the olives but don't overfill it less it spills over. Since that is not the original brine solution, then the olives may spoil sooner. That means you need to use your olives within a few weeks. 

Liquid-free olive package requires no brine. Many olive brands will advise you to refrigerate the content with a tightly sealed container. But some brands, such as California ripe olives, give the instructions of covering the container loosely before placing it in the fridge. But before refrigerating, always read the instructions first.


Olives are expensive and have many healthy nutrients. That means, after buying them, you need to know how soon you should consume them and signs of spoiling. Note that the brine may make your olives have a pale color, but that doesn't mean olives have gone bad. If they spoil, they will have molds and will produce an awful smell. It will have a cloudy appearance, and the texture will feel different. An unopened jar containing olive oil can last for up to 3 months when in the pantry. You need to avoid exposing it to high temperatures and light. After opening, you should store it in the fridge and use vinegar, oil, or even brine to preserve it. If you have none of that solution, mix water and salt to make the brine. Use the olives within a short time. 

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