I was reading your article regarding flavored oils and I was wondering instead of just letting it steep, would putting the ingredients in the oil and then cooking it to infuse the flavor make it safer from getting bacteria in the oil?
Bacteria will not grow in the oil but in the fresh herbs. We are not canning experts but are fairly certain that heat processing would make for a long shelf life. Of course the product would still need to be refrigerated after opening. Unfortunately, cooking olive oil for 45 minutes in a high pressure steamer like they do with canned foods would ruin the flavor of the oil. Companies who use this type of processing use cheaper flavorless canola or soybean oil or, if olive oil must used for marketing purposes, they use a flavorless and cheap refined olive oil.
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