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shipping olive oil

Olive oil is a popular oil used for cooking not only because of the flavor it gives to dishes but also for the health benefits that can be derived from it. It comes in different varieties depending on the kind of olive berries used and the process of extraction employed. Aside from flavor, different kinds of olive oil also vary in shelf life and value. Rare olive oil can get very expensive.

Oil products such as motor or crude oil are considered hazardous materials and are prohibited items in regular shipping methods. Olive oil is not considered a flammable substance and is not included in such shipping regulations. Because of this, olive oil can be easily and safely shipped as long as proper packing precautions are followed.

Olive oil can go rancid quickly if exposed to heat, air, and light.  Thus, it should be properly stored in appropriate containers prior to shipping to prevent it from going bad. Here are some tips on how to properly pack and ship olive oil.

The best containers for olive oil are opaque glass bottles with air tight lids to minimize the effects of oxidation and exposure to sunlight. Don’t use plastic containers or any reactive metals as these materials might contaminate the oil’s flavor. Because glass bottles are highly breakable, they should be properly padded and secured in their packages to prevent breakage.

To avoid leaks, make sure the caps or lids on the olive oil bottles are tight and secured. As an added precaution, wrap plastic cling wrap on the cap/lid and neck area of the bottle and secure with tape.

Protect each olive oil bottle with generous layers of bubble wrap. This will provide cushion to prevent the glass bottles from breaking during transport.

If shipping a single bottle of olive oil, use a shipping box that is large enough to accommodate the bottle and provide extra space for packing materials. The box should have at least a couple of inches of space on all sides, top and bottom to be filled with packaging materials such as bubble wrap, Styrofoam pads or packing peanuts, to prevent the bottle from shifting or moving inside the box.

When shipping several bottles in one package, make a separator using carboard strips. Fill all gaps with packing materials, making sure that the bottles are snugly packed and do not move or bang each other when the box is shaken.

Close the box and seal with packaging tape. Address and label the package with “Glass” and “Perishable”.

Take the box to your local post office or shipping company. Choose the fastest service possible and avoid shipping near a weekend or Holiday when there is a good chance of the package getting stacked in a humid warehouse for several days. The temperature in a storage facility might affect the quality of the olive oil.

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