Olive oil also freezes

frozen extra olive oil virgin

The white colour with hints of phosphorescent green that olive oil takes on at low temperatures is a natural process that occurs when the oil passes its freezing point. During this physical process the oil does not lose any properties, and returns to its usual colour once it passes its melting point. Some people are surprised by this colour, and want to associate it with quality or at some extreme believe that it may have spoiled. Therefore, olive oil is like any other product that changes from this one, and whose process is explained in more detail below.


  1. No loss of properties
  2. Freezing process
  3. Return them to their original state

Summary: During cold days the oil can take on much lighter and fluorescent shades, and this is because it solidifies past its freezing point. This has no effect on its properties, only on its appearance. However, in our shop in Las Rozas de Madrid you have at your disposal a fantastic selection of EVOOs from the best brands: Castillo de Canena, Oro Bailen, El Empiedro, Casas de Hualdo, etc.

Related articles: Where to buy extra virgin olive oil?

1. No loss of properties

Olive oil, like other compounds, also freezes at its freezing point, which is higher than that of water. For this reason, in the winter season with cold temperatures we see it take on a different colour and it has a more solid texture. However, this change in texture and colour does not cause it to lose any of its properties or gastronomic qualities. Likewise, once its temperature is raised, the oil returns to its most common state, its liquid state.

Therefore, the consumer does not have to worry about the freezing of extra virgin olive oil, as it does not lose any of its healthy properties when frozen.

2. Freezing process

The freezing process is a physical process that occurs when temperatures drop and in which a liquid compound changes to a solid state. This process does not occur homogeneously in oil, as it does in water. Therefore, here we are going to explain it to you in a simple way.

As the temperature drops, the olive oil forms small balls of light green wax, which settle to the bottom of the bottle, and some of them remain floating in the oil itself.

The oil is made up of different compounds that have different freezing points.

The oil is mainly made up of triglycerides, but they are not all the same. These molecules are organic molecules that are made up of a main part which is a glycerine molecule to which up to three fatty acid molecules are attached. The variety of fatty acids that each triglyceride has, will cause it to have a freezing point, which can range from 0º or less, to 23º.

In the case of extra virgin olive oil, the main fatty acid is oleic acid, which begins to solidify at temperatures below 5.5 ºC. However, we can find small balls or lumps at temperatures below 20 ºC, as they have other fatty acids that solidify at higher temperatures.

Foto 1: Campo de olivos en Jaén

3. Return them to their original state

If we want the oil to take on its more common colour and return to its original state, we must leave the oil in a place with temperatures higher than 20 ºC. The warmer the place, the sooner it will return to its normal colour. However, we must protect it from excessive temperatures and light, as these factors damage the properties of olive oil.


Aral Magazine. Consumer magazine

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