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A Statement From the North American Olive Oil Association:
The “Fridge Test” is not a reliable indicator of purity or quality. Almost all oils will become cloudy and eventually solidify at very cold temperatures. However, the time and the temperature required to reach that stage are affected by a multitude of factors, beginning with the simple fact that refrigerator temperature itself is variable.
Extra virgin olive oil is made up of primarily monounsaturated fats, which tend to cloud or become solid at higher temperatures than refined oils such as olive oil, canola oil, etc, do. However, extra virgin olive oil’s composition is so variable that this is not an accurate indicator of authenticity.
The makeup and ultimate coagulation point of an extra virgin olive oil is affected by the olive varietal, the seasonal growing conditions, the latitude of the country of origin, the time of harvest and the processing methods.
Additionally, olives are a fruit, and have a natural wax coating that may be found in trace amounts in the end product. While not harmful, these wax levels are variable and their presence will raise the temperature at which an extra virgin olive oil will start to crystallize. Many manufacturers will chill and filter extra virgin olive oil specifically to remove these waxes and ensure a pleasing appearance after transportation in cold seasons. Many oils that have been chilled and filtered, although they are completely authentic, won’t show evidence of solidification in a refrigerator.