How many times can olive oil be reused?

Olive oil, prized for its distinctive flavor and health benefits, is a fundamental ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, so you’ve probably wondered how many times you can use the same olive oil in your recipes. Would you like to know the answer? Read on! First of all, it is important to clarify that if olive oil is used for frying, its subsequent reuse should be limited to other frying, and not for grilling or dressing a salad. Thus, it is not advisable either to mix new oil with other oil already used or to mix different types of oil. With this in mind, the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) recommends that in order to make continuous use of olive oil for frying, it should be kept in good condition. For this to be possible, the following instructions should be followed:
  • Store the olive oil in a suitable place, away from light to prevent oxidation.
  • Preferably, use a deep fryer and cover it, because if there is no contact with oxygen, the oil will not spoil prematurely.
  • The fryer also allows you to regulate the temperature of the oil, which should not be higher than 356ºF because toxic compounds can form in the oil.
  • Do not fry too much food at once (maximum 200 grams per liter of oil) and avoid waiting for the oil to cool down between frying batches.

How many times can you fry with the same oil?

If we follow the advice of the OCU, frying oils can withstand up to 25 frying operations. However, we must not forget that this is a maximum number and that the conditions previously mentioned must be met so that its reuse is as safe as possible. However, according to AECOSAN, the Spanish Agency for Food Health and Nutrition, it is advisable not to reuse olive oil more than once to avoid the risk of acrylamide formation. This is a chemical substance that is created naturally in food products containing starch during everyday cooking processes at high temperatures. Although if the foods to be fried are not high in sugars, there may be scope for reuse. It is essential to highlight that even the most exquisite olive oils experience degradation after the first use, which implies a loss of their antioxidants, polyphenols and oleocanthal, that is the most distinctive and valuable properties of this food.

How to recycle olive oil

Finally, when you are going to change the oil it is important that you do not throw it down the drain or the toilet, as this could form blockages in the pipes and negatively affect the water purification process. You can put it in a closed can and throw it in the trash and, even better, if you take it to a designated clean point for proper handling and recycling.