Is the olive oil fridge test a legitimate way to know whether your olive oil is real or fake? Unfortunately, small fines for fraud encourage olive oil companies to peddle misleading advice to fool their customers into purchasing lower grade blends of olive oil. One of those marketing lies is the olive oil fridge test.
The fake olive oil business can be 3 times more profitable than cocaine, and certainly a lot easier to get into. Earlier this year, a Canadian company was fined $40,000 for selling fraudulently labeled “extra virgin” olive oil. But when you’re moving 40,000 L of olive oil annually, this means almost nothing for your bottom line.
If you are already intent on defrauding your customers to make a quick buck, it makes sense to spread disinformation. The olive oil fridge test is another one of those scams.
The origin of the widely-circulated olive oil fridge test myth is that oils high in monounsaturated fats tend to coagulate at normal fridge temperatures. On the other hand, refined oils high in polyunsaturated fats don’t coagulate at any temperature. This makes sense when you consider it logically, in isolation, but it’s not entirely accurate in the real world.
The Olive Oil Fridge Test Is A Myth
The problem with the olive oil fridge test is that while most olive oils sold at supermarkets consist of a blend of canola and other refined oils, at least some of those mixtures do contain real extra virgin olive oil. It’s not like they’re actually selling 100% pure canola and intentionally mislabeling the entire product.
Unfortunately, ANY amount of monounsatured fat will tend to cause the entire mixture to coagulate if the oils have been thoroughly blended in a centrifuge. So this basically makes the entire olive oil fridge test moot.
With all the hype surrounding extra virgin olive oil, how do you really know if yours is the real deal, or at the very least, high in nutritional value? The first thing you should do is check for a harvest date on the bottle.
Our latest batch of Selo Oils was harvested on November 15, 2018. But unlike a fine wine, olive oils do not become more refined with age. Your best bet is to consume your olive oil within two years of harvest. A year and half is a reasonable amount of time to assume that the oils are still close to their peak in terms of antioxidants and other nutritional content, such as monounsaturated fats and vitamins E and K.
Although a harvest date is necessary to determine quality, it is not sufficient! You still need to know how your olives were picked, when they were pressed, and whether they were mixed with refined oils or not. This requires a trusted source.
The only real way to know whether your olive oil is legit extra virgin is to source it directly from a farm you trust.