4 Reasons to buy olive oil in a Bag-in-Box

The bag-in-box (abbreviated as BiB) has been known as a packaging concept for a long time. The packaging consists of a cardboard box with an inner bag or tube that is fitted with a tap. In the 1980s, the bag-in-box was first offered for fruit juices or wine. The bad image of the BiB also comes from this time, because many consumers suspect inferior mass products in it, and thus still see it as an indication of low quality. Some consumers are therefore also skeptical about olive oil in a bag-in-box. This is a pity, because in terms of both the shelf life of the olive oil and sustainability, there is hardly a better alternative.

4 reasons to buy olive oil in a bag-in-box

There are good reasons why the bag-in-box is a good alternative for storing olive oil compared to the tin can and glass bottle.

  • The olive oil retains its good organoleptic properties after opening because it is stored under vacuum. Therefore, even after opening the packaging, no oxygen can get into the container. In addition, the oil is 100% protected from the negative influence of light.
  • The packaging is sustainable because the cardboard is recyclable and the bag goes into the waste separation. In addition, the weight is smaller, which saves a lot of fuel during transport.
  • Not a drop is lost, because with the bag-in-box the olive oil is filled to the last drop. There is no endless waiting for the last drop in the bottle. In the can, it is often impossible to get the last drop out without destroying the packaging. However, even with the canister, the maximum is 10 ml – but of course you would rather enjoy that too than throw it away. 
  • It is easy to fill smaller quantities for use. You don’t need a funnel, and you don’t need much space. The small tap is easy to open and close as needed.


What effect does the bag-in-box have on the quality of the olive oil during storage?

The airtight closure by the tap increases the shelf life and guarantees the preservation of the organoleptic properties. The aroma and freshness of the oil are also preserved. This is due to the good protection of the olive oil from atmospheric oxygen and light or UV radiation in the bag-in-box packaging, which ensures that oxidation processes are avoided. (1)
When decanting from a canister, on the other hand, there is renewed contact with oxygen every time the canister is opened. Olive oil is very susceptible to oxidation by atmospheric oxygen. Even if there is only a little air in the upper part of the canister, the olive oil can oxidise through contact with oxygen and lose its aroma over time. While the olive oil in canisters remains in constant contact with an air cushion on the top of the canister after it is first opened, the bag in the bag-in-box system protects the oil from direct contact with oxygen even after opening and until the last decanting. Research conducted by the Food Chemistry Laboratory at the University of Ioannina in 2019 demonstrated a 50% longer shelf life of olive oil in bag-in-box packaging compared to canisters. (2)

Which is more environmentally friendly, canister or bag-in-box?

The bag-in-box is significantly more environmentally friendly than other packaging.

      • Transport and storage of BiB are more efficient due to space and fuel savings

        The empty packaging is delivered flat, takes up little space and can be easily stored and transported on pallets after filling. This leads to significant savings in logistics costs and CO2 emissions, because the ratio of packaging weight to product volume is very good. For example, one truck transporting 5 litres of Bag-in-Box is equivalent to more than 7 trucks transporting 75 cL glass bottles. At the same time, the Bag-in-Box also takes up little space in storage thanks to its rectangular shape.

      • Less CO2 emissions at BiB

        In several LCA (life cycle assessment) studies, Bag-in-Box clearly shows the best results, with a carbon footprint eight times lower than glass bottles. The water and energy consumption for the production of Bag-in-Box is relatively low compared to other types of packaging. This is particularly important as the increase in greenhouse gas emissions is the main driver of global warming, leading to sea level rise, mass extinction of species and extreme weather conditions, among other things.

      • Recycling of BiB packaging material becomes more efficient

        The bag-in-box packaging material consists of an inner bag made of film composite material (usually aluminium/HDPE or polyethylene (PE) in combination with ethylvinyl alcohol (EVOH)), which is protected by an outer carton. The inner bag is fitted with a plastic tap. The cardboard box can be produced CO2-neutral from FSC certified paper. After use, it can be disposed of as waste paper and is then recycled again. After emptying, all that remains with the Bag-in-Box is the plastic bag, which can simply be disposed of via the yellow bag. Unfortunately, it cannot yet be recycled because of the aluminium layer. There are packaging manufacturers who are developing an inner bag for BiB that can be recycled. When these come on the market, recycling can become even more efficient – also depending on the infrastructure for waste collection, separation and recycling in the respective country.

How do you use the Bag-in-Box?

First you open a pre-cut window in the outer box and take out the tap. Sometimes this has to be turned a little straight.  With the help of the tap, the olive oil can then be easily and effortlessly filled into a small oil can. The flexible inner bag gradually contracts during filling and prevents air and thus oxygen from getting into the olive oil.



  1. Pristouri, G., Badeka, A., & Kontominas, M. G. (2010). Effect of packaging material headspace, oxygen and light transmission, temperature and storage time on quality characteristics of extra virgin olive oil. Food control, 21(4), 412-418.
  2. Study of the University of Ioannina, Greece, Laboratory for Food Chemistry: Effect of bag-in-box packaging material on quality characteristics of extra virgin olive oil stored under household and abuse temperature conditions.



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