I’ve had a few people come to the market and tell me that they have found a foolproof way of testing their olive oil to make sure it is pure – just put it in the fridge! If it solidifies, or forms sediment in the bottom of the bottle, it is 100% pure olive oil. If it doesn’t, then it’s adulterated.
The fridge test is, in fact, NOT a 100% sure thing. As it says on the Veronica Foods blog:
In a recent show calling in to question the authenticity of most supermarket extra virgin olive oil, Dr. Oz puts a bottle of what he believes to be extra virgin olive oil in the refrigerator and then proclaims that “If it freezes at a normal refrigerator temperature, then you’re pretty sure it’s pure”.
However, the resounding answer from all experts who have weighed in, including Modern Olives scientists, Richard Cantrell of the AOCS, Dan Flynn of UC Davis is that the fridge test is not an accurate test of authenticity. There are plenty of seed and vegetable oils which will solidify in the fridge, as well as some extra virgin olive oils who’s unique fatty acid profile will keep them liquid in the fridge. Below, please find a link to Richard Gawel’s very excellent dissection of this subject, and we concur with all of the experts who have weighed in.
If you would like to read more about why the fridge test is not 100% authentic from a chemical standpoint, visit the ‘Slick Extra Virgin’ blog by clicking here.