You may have noticed we offer both filtered and unfiltered olive oil in our online shop. We often get asked what the difference between the two is and why we sell both. So here’s what we tell our customers.

The main difference is that filtered oil passes through a filtering cloth before being bottled. That’s the only real difference, but it can have some reasonably large implications on the taste, shelf-life and health benefits.

Depending on how you like your oil to taste, we think unfiltered oil tastes the best. It has a higher polyphenol count which gives the oil all of its flavour – so the more polyphenols, the richer the taste.

That’s not to say that filtered oil tastes bland – far from it! Filtered oil has a more balanced flavour, so you get to experience more of the layers and nuances of the flavours.

Filtered oil has a great shelf-life. A bottle stored in a cool, dark place can last for a couple of years. If the oil is unfiltered it doesn’t tend to last as long, but is still good for at least 12-18 months.

Think of unfiltered oil like fresh-pressed juice. It might last for quite a while in the fridge, but it’s definitely best enjoyed fresh. So if you’re going to be going through a fair bit of oil, we’d recommend trying the unfiltered option.

Health benefits
Because of the high polyphenol count, unfiltered oil offers the most in terms of health benefits.

Polyphenols in your diet help to improve lipid profiles, blood pressure, insulin resistance and systemic inflammation. Studies have shown that diets rich in polyphenols may offer protection against development of certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases.

But while our filtered oil may have a lower polyphenol count than the unfiltered, there’s still an incredibly high amount, so you’re not really missing out on anything there.