Can a pure extra virgin olive oil
be identified simply
by placing it in the refrigerator?
In short, no.
The idea that a true extra virgin olive oil can be identified simply if it solidifies when placed in the refrigerator is a myth. Named the “Fridge Test” by television personality Dr. Oz, this myth was popularized and perpetuated in an episode focused on food industry fraud. According to the test, a true extra virgin olive oil will experience a chemical reaction in which the oil solidifies as a result of the temperature. The theory posits an adulterated, fake olive oil mislabeled as extra virgin will not produce the same result.
Olive oil industry experts have renounced this theory. An oil’s ability to solidify is dependent on its lipid structure, or fatty acids. Oleic acid, a type of monosaturated fat, is measured in true extra virgin olive oils and this number can vary greatly between different varietal oils. Depending on its lipid structure, a low quality oil could very well congeal while a high quality oil may not. There is no “quick fix” method for determining a true extra virgin olive oil. In order to do so, the oil must be tested for its chemical makeup.
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