About the "Fridge Test"

The internet is a useful thing. Streaming movies, pictures of cats, baseball scores, definitions of 4-syllable words, etc. There are some downsides, though. Folks or (bots) with little expertise can forcefully (or repeatedly) declare falsehoods to the point that they seem believable. Eventually, a reputable source picks up these falsehoods and inadvertently lends credibility.

Such is the case with the "Fridge Test". Perhaps you've heard of it--to verify your olive oil as truly extra virgin, you stick it in the fridge. After some period of time, it will solidify. If it doesn't, then there's a problem. However, this has been de-bunked as an unreliable and easily faked test. Here are some research sources:

http://static.oliveoiltimes.com/library/ucd-fridge-test.pdf 
http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-basics/uc-davis-olive-center-fridge-test/33250

Having said all this, Spartan Oil will solidify. However, because our stoneware bottle acts as a natural insulator and protects against temperature degradation, it will take quite a bit of time to congeal. Ultimately, the true indicator of quality and authenticity are our standards for production, selection, storage, and packaging. Any reputable producer will, at a minimum, adhere to these standards. We go beyond by running multiple chemical analyses on each batch as verification.

For some things, there's simply no quick test that will answer our questions. Olive oil authenticity is a major problem in the US, but having unreliable tests perpetuated by seemingly credible outlets is no way to solve the issue. Understanding what to look for when choosing an extra virgin olive oil is much more important (tip: look for an easily discernible harvest date on the bottle). Also important is understanding the positive characteristics of EVOO taste--fruitiness, bitterness, pepperiness. Tasting olive oil should result in experiencing at least one of these characteristics, if not all. Some extra virgin olive oils will have these components in more subtle notes, while others will be quite extreme. Intensity of these characteristics is what makes each EVOO unique. So, go out and enjoy tasting some different olive oils.

In the meantime, let's use the internet for passing on useful information! Feel free to ask questions and share this article. Thanks for taking the time to read!


Pericles Konstas
Pericles Konstas

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