Effects of bag-in-box packaging on long-term shelf life of extra virgin olive oil


The choice of a suitable container is crucial to extend the shelf life of the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). In this work, quality evolution of three different EVOOs packaged in bag-in-box was investigated. For comparison, the same oils were packaged also in tin can that is one of the most widely used systems for EVOO storage. Both the containers were filled with the oils at 100% or at 50% of their capacity and kept at room temperature up to 24 months. Changes of peroxide value, K232 index, phenolic fraction, 1,3/1,2-diacylglycerols ratio and sensory attributes were monitored during the oil-storage period. In addition, accelerate oxidation tests (rancimat and oven test) were carried out for predicting oxidative stability of the oils. Bag-in-box showed positive effects for the oil conservation ensuring, also after repeated oil withdrawals, a potential EVOO shelf life up to 24 months. Actually, although at 24 months, the oils stored in bag-in-box showed some ageing signals (K232 increasing; drop of phenolic compounds; 1,3 DAG isomers increasing; sensory features slight modifications), their quality indexes remained substantially within the EVOO limits, like, for example, the peroxide values that were well below to the legal limit.

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Extra virgin olive oil


Gallic acid equivalent


Induction time




Oleuropein equivalent




Oven test gradient


Peroxide value


Metal tin can


Total phenols


Containers filled with the oil to their top capacity


Containers filled with the oil to their 50% capacity


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The authors would like to thank Dr. Maurizio Corbo, panel leader of the ‘Agency for Innovation and Development of Agriculture in Molise (ARSIAM)’ for carrying out the sensory analysis.

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Correspondence to Antonella De Leonardis.

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De Leonardis, A., Macciola, V., Spadanuda, P. et al. Effects of bag-in-box packaging on long-term shelf life of extra virgin olive oil. Eur Food Res Technol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00217-020-03667-w

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  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Packaging
  • Bag-in-box
  • Filling levels
  • Autoxidation
  • Shelf life