Olive oil dregs

It is a common misconception to think that the presence of oil dregs (the sediment of the oil) suggest that olive oil is of inferior quality. That’s not true. Oil dregs is the completely natural remnant that fresh oil has; the sediment that drops at the bottom of an oil tin when filled with fresh olive oil. 

After the fresh olive oil is produced in the oil press, a small percentage of ingredients (around 5%) that comes from the olive fruit itself still remains inside our oil and, as it is heavier than the oil, it drops to the bottom of the tin. This is called dregs or sediment of the oil and it comprises the natural sugars, proteins and kernel of the olive. 

In freshly produced olive oil, the sediment is completely natural and unavoidable. It doesn’t affect the quality of the olive oil at first and it’s a way to tell if your oil is freshly produced. In fact, some cunning producers add dregs to their tins to make their oil look fresh. There are a lot of ways to get rid of the dregs of the oil. 

Even though it’s natural, we here at Nectar DNA understand that most people don’t enjoy the flavour of the dregs and try really hard to rid our bottles of the oil before sealed. We do it via the most natural way, which is to swap the oil between tins three times in a course of two weeks before bottling our oil. After the oil is left in a tin for 3-4 days, the sediment of the oil drops to the bottom, so it is rather easy to extract the pure oil from the tin. We repeat this process a couple more times, to get rid of more than 90-95% of the dregs before we bottle it for you! 

When is it normal to find dregs in our oil?

First and foremost, when we get the freshly produced oil from the oil press, that oil is unavoidably going to have dregs in it. Since we store this oil in tins, it is normal to find dregs in the bottom of the tins when we open them. 

If you store your olive oil in a very cold place, sometimes it freezes or comes to rest in the bottom of your bottle. This is also completely normal and doesn’t affect the quality of your oil. It will come back to its natural state once outside temperature gets to higher levels. If sediment has settled to the bottom, it can be  easily removed and the rest of the oil kept and enjoyed! 

How can I store my olive oil correctly?

Olive oil should be protected from direct sunlight and air. It should be kept in a dark, shaded and cool place. Your oil should peferably be stored in temperatures of under 25oC, ideally 10-18oC. 

Did you know? Oil’s biggest enemy is oxygen, that’s why you should always keep your olive oil bottles or tins sealed when not in use. 

If you put your oil in a tin, you should always use stainless steel rust proof tins, not simple metal cans. 

If you choose to keep your oil in glass bottles, you should ideally use dark glass and keep it away from the light. 

If you notice dregs in your olive oil and you’re far from consuming your whole bottle, it’s best to separate it as above, since after a few months the sediment may cause your oil to lose in quality, as it may start fermenting with the oil. 

If you choose to store your oil in tanks, you should always do it in stainless steel tanks. Choose cylindrical (which are easier to clean and reuse), and vertical tanks (which expose a smaller surface of the olive oil to oxygen whenever they’re opened). Clean your tanks thoroughly every year.