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Spring cleaning includes wiping down all the kitchen shelves and seeing what strange odds and ends may be lurking. It’s a good trick to write down the date you buy anything that may wind up on the shelf for a while so that you can easily see how long they’ve been around. Antiques are fine, but not in the cupboards.

Do you have a good handle on how much olive oil your household uses each month? While it can be tempting to buy one of those giant-sized cartons, you’ll be losing out on its health benefits if you don’t use it up relatively quickly. A new Italian study found that the sweet spot for its storage may be three months or less:

Antioxidants in Italian Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Reduced at Six Months of Storage
The health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil may include preventing conditions related to coronary disease, stroke and certain types of cancers. The protective role of virgin olive oil is the result of components that act as antioxidants. Researchers at the University of Foggia in Italy analyzed several varieties of extra-virgin olive oil produced from groves in the Italian countryside at production and during storage. After three months of storage, the antioxidant activity in the oils remained unchanged. However, antioxidants decreased by about 40 percent for almost all of the oils after six months.

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