Skip to Content
News releases from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
by Bill Botkovich
on May 30, 2013 at 9:37 AM
While useful for lay consumers (like me) to better understand the limitations of the 'Fridge Test' for measuring relative qualities of olive oils, this article requires me to read between the lines for figuring out a more important test: Whether or not the "olive oil" labeled bottle in front of me is olive oil at all, or a completely different (fraudulently substituted) oil. I'm running the Fridge Test on a suspect bottle right now. This "olive oil" has been in my fridge at a relatively constant 42F degrees for one week now... and there is absolutely NO sign of any solidification in the bottle at all. Is this a suggestion (a strong suggestion?) that the oil in this bottle is not olive oil... or do I need to lower the temperature to make sure? If so... how low? I've queried the food company about this, and they've come back to me citing limitations of the Fridge Test in measuring olive oil qualities almost mimicking Mr Vossen's comments above. Hopefully the lay public can derive some sort of value from this article other than it serving as a potentially obfuscating PR piece for the "olive oil" food industry. So... are my own test results here suggestive/strongly-suggestive that there's something in my bottle other than REAL olive oil?
by Kate
on November 8, 2013 at 4:44 PM
Bill, You took the thoughts right out of my head! I too did the "fridge test" and my oil failed miserably. I am replacing it with one that solidifies.
by Randall
on March 7, 2014 at 7:37 AM
If the olive oil completely hardens, then it's a sign that it might be fake.  
The researchers fridge test did not never fully solidified after 180 hours.  
The only good thing about olive oil completely hardening says is it's very low in polyunsaturated facts.(omega 6)
by Frankie Leftwich
on September 9, 2015 at 8:33 AM
I figured that if it congealed in the fridge it meant it wasn't good quality?? I have some olive oil that never congealed (cheap price) and another from the Olive Oil Store that congealed over night practically and I was upset at the price I paid for it. I guess I just don't know much about olive oil.
by Rod
on January 24, 2016 at 8:23 PM
I call bull! I bought a bottle that I trust, and it turned completely solid! If you read what the study says, it did not use pure evo.
by will
on June 27, 2016 at 9:43 AM
Hey Rod, what olive oil did you use? Can you post a picture of it as well?
by carol
on November 26, 2016 at 7:48 PM
by Tusab @ Aceite de oliva
on December 11, 2016 at 2:47 PM
Thank you for your post.But I have found that using Olive oil is causing allergic problems to my skin.Do you have any advice for me?
by Dory
on January 18, 2017 at 7:03 PM
I have a bottle of Palestinian olive oil which I completely trust. It turned solid in the refrigerator. Then I put a bottle of Whole Foods olive oil in my refrigerator and it stayed completely liquid. I don't know what to think. Whole Foods olive oil is one of the ones that has rumors about it. I was going to cotact customer service at Whole Foods but want to be sure I was being fair.
Reply by Pamela Kan-Rice
on January 20, 2017 at 3:53 PM
Thank you for your question, Dori. The fridge test you mention is not reliable for assessing quality. The UC Davis Olive Center tested it and wrote this report:  
The Olive Center offers these tips for consumers buying olive oil:
by Pamela
on April 1, 2017 at 11:08 AM
Dory, Whole Foods olive oil is not pure olive oil, unfortunately. Based on the last list I saw. We get olive oil straight from small producers in Italy who grow/process/bottle their tiny production. Very trustworthy. Their olive oil solidifies in the fridge. So, it's NOT a sign it's fake. It's my understanding, however, that it's not a surefire test, because some producers take their olive oil through a process that removes wax (?) so that it will pour even in the cold. Anyone else heard this? This has become a very frustrating process for consumers. We hear cold-pressed extra virgin is good for our health, invest tons of money, but can't be sure we're getting those incredible anti-inflammatory properties.
by Pamela
on April 1, 2017 at 11:09 AM
Here is some info from LifeHacke. Note that WF olive oil didn't passr:  
The brands that failed to meet the extra virgin olive oil standards, according to this study: Bertolli, Carapelli, Colavita, Star, Pompeian. Eat Grown Local also reports: Filippo Berio, Mazzola, Mezzetta, Newman's Own, Safeway, and Whole Foods in this list; the data may be from the earlier 2010 study when more brands were evaluated.  
The real deal: California Olive Ranch, Cobram Estate, Lucini. Kirkland Organic, Lucero (Ascolano), McEvoy Ranch Organic are also noted by Eat Grown Local.
by Sam Withoff
on April 18, 2019 at 7:20 AM
I have bought many brands of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, some hardened in the fridge some don’t. The brand that I’m using now,is Monaco from Monaco Foods Inc. in Miami. Does anybody know anything about Monaco.
by Linda Richard
on June 8, 2020 at 8:31 AM
I've been using California Olive Ranch for some time, with hardening in frig. Recently noticed that they had started pooling with 3 other countries and it no longer hardens. Is this coincidence or a sign that it is being adulterated?
Leave a Reply:

You are currently not signed in. If you have an account, then sign in now!
Anonymous users messages may be delayed.

Security Code: