How To Find Pure Olive Oil

How To Find Pure Olive Oil

By now, I’m sure you’re well aware of the important role healthy fats play in your diet. In my home I opt to use high-quality whole traditional foods like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and full-fat dairy. These healthy foods have been consumed by people for thousands of years by cultures around the world.

I’ve written to you often about coconut oil but today I wanted to share some things about another healthy fat I use often in my kitchen: Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

While I use coconut oil for most of my cooking and baking there are a few things I prefer to use olive oil for. For example:

Salad Dressing

Pure olive oil is the most important ingredient in making the best salad dressings! Since pure olive oil is made of mostly monounsaturated fats, it is liquid at room temperature. If I were to use coconut oil, my dressing would be thick and hard!


I also prefer to use pure olive oil over coconut oil for marinating meat, fish, poultry and veggies. Coconut oil will completely harden when used in marinades but pure olive oil will only slightly solidify when used.


I love mayonnaise and use it often. I have used coconut oil to make mayonnaise in the past but the consistency is too thick for my palate. I now use half coconut oil and half olive oil or 100% olive oil when I make mayo now.

As with all ingredients in my kitchen, I do my best to source organic pure olive oil, this is very important because not all olive oil is equal.

Did you know that some olive oils aren’t pure? Some brands cut their olive oil with cheap oils like soybean oil, canola oil, hazelnut oil and low grade olive oils.

How To Find Pure Olive Oil

I did some research and wanted to conducted a few tests to see if the olive oil I use is truly pure. I also tested several popular brands of olive oil to see if any of them passed the tests. What were the results? See below:

The Refrigerator Test

According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions you can easily find out if your olive oil is pure by refrigerating it for 10+ hours. If the olive oil solidifies then it is the real deal. If not, it’s not pure! I tested 9 brands of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or so labeled). I picked popular brands of olive oil varying in prices. I also decided to pick up cheap store brand EEVO to see if it would pass this test.

olive oil in jars with solids separated

Results: After 12 hours of refrigeration only 4 olive oils were completely solid. Several were partially solid and some were still completely liquid. I decided to let the oils refrigerate for a full 24 hours to see if any change would occur. After 24 hours of refrigeration all but one sample was solid.

Conclusion: Inconclusive

After doing some research I found that this test isn’t 100% accurate. It turns out that the olive variety and time of harvest may have an effect on solidification.

The Flame Test

I’ve also read in several articles that pure olive oil will burn and won’t smoke or give off any harsh odors and refined oils will not light at all.

olive oil flame test

Results: Every sample tested yielded a consistent flame; some flames burned stronger than others. There were no visible smoke or burning odors and all kept burning for the hour’s test.

Conclusion: Inconclusive

Though some of the oils did light and keep a flame, I felt this test wasn’t 100% accurate. Many adulterated olive oils are actually cut with a small amount of refined olive oil, so they can pass this test even though they aren’t 100% pure.

Taste Test

We also taste tested all of the oils! Now, we aren’t olive oil connoisseurs but we did notice a variety of pleasant and unpleasant flavors and textures.

olive oil taste test

Results: Some oils were peppery, some had a fruity undertone, some tasted greasy, soapy and rancid!

Conclusion: Inconclusive

This test is obviously inconclusive (though it was fun)! Guessing is no way to truly know if your olive oil is pure.

So how do you know if your olive oil is pure?

The Answer: Know Your Source

Contact the farmer (or company) you purchase your olive oil from. Ask them where their olives come from. Do they come from sustainable farms? How do they process their olive oil? Do they use chemical solvents or is the oil pressed naturally without heat or chemicals? An honest company will answer your questions and will not hide anything!

Which olive oil do I use?


I was thrilled, then, to discover a source for independently lab-certified EVOO, imported quarterly from the world’s latest harvest! 

It’s called the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club, and they have generously offered my readers an introduction to their unique club: a free, full-size sample bottle of harvest-fresh EVOO. Their oils are so flavorful and vibrant that I felt like I’d never really tasted olive oil before. The Club’s founder travels the globe to find the world’s best and freshest olive oils, and they deliver them right to your door.

With this special offer, they have 240 bottles — 20 cases — to give away to Coconut Mama readers, but I have an audience of many thousands, so these will go fast! There is nothing to buy, and no strings attached — you can cancel your Club membership at any time.

Then, as soon as your bottle arrives — whether you’re whipping up a smoothie or frying a frittata – pour on the EVOO! Use fresh-pressed EVOO in stir-fries and pan-sears (the idea that you shouldn’t fry with olive oil has been enthusiastically abandoned). Add flavor and disease prevention to your favorite dishes! A generous splash of EVOO will not only intensify the flavor and nutritional content of your meals, it may also help guard you against inflammatory diseases.

And don’t forget — click here to get your free full-size sample bottle of EVOO, fresh from the harvest!

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About the author: Hi! I’m Tiffany – aka Coconut Mama. I’m a real food mama of three coconut babies. I’m passionate about traditional and healing foods. As a true believer in the health benefits of coconut, I use coconut products in all my recipes. You can download my free Coconut Flour Recipes E-book here. Thanks for stopping by!
10 comments… add one
  • Scott October 3, 2017, 7:19 am

    Wow thanks for the information about the olive oil. Been wondering how to know about true olive oil. I have an question?I have been searching online, but I am unable to find out about the coconut pasta to make spegetti noodles or other pasta.

  • Jo Anne T. May 2, 2017, 7:22 am

    I purchase olive oil from Galilee Green, grown in Israel. It is amazing! The best I have ever had.

  • Fran March 12, 2017, 10:44 am

    I saw your protein bar recipe on a face book post. I was wondering, where does the protein come from. Is it in the collagen? Just wanted to make sure. Thanks.

  • Dan Torpey September 12, 2016, 12:00 pm

    A lot of companies are using year old olive oil and mixing it with current oil. It’s pure however, last year’s oil is rancid.

  • Rose Marie December 29, 2013, 6:42 am

    My favorite Olive Oil is unfiltered, you can not see thru it cause it has lots of sediments still in it..the taste is that of a liquid olive.. Claudio oil from Italy.. yum.

  • Renee December 14, 2013, 5:33 pm

    Tiffany, how long can you store real olive oil before it goes rancid? Is there a way to store it that prolongs its life?

  • Angelita December 14, 2013, 3:49 pm

    I grew up on Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It had passed all the inconclusive tests…. But one thing I noticed is that I once tasted some “authentic” olive oil and it tasted more like oil and my tummy was not happy….. Thanks for this awesome article…. Not all things (like these folks proclaiming these “tests” with conviction) can be taken for 100% truth…. However, inconclusive truths can always be nice precautionary measures and filters… 😉 (I hope that came out right)….

    • Tiffany @ The Coconut Mama December 14, 2013, 4:50 pm

      Thanks Angelita! It certainly came out right! We definitely thought the “taste” test was the most effective, since when all is said and done it’s the health benefits and taste that matter most!

  • Rebecca Hauptman Cashman December 14, 2013, 5:34 am

    The biggest problem with this is that when you are shopping at a grocery store (big box store) you can’t just “ask the farmer” — I am thinking that 95% of the population doesn’t fit into this category.

    Coconut Mama — tell me, were you able to walk into the market and out of all the oils you used for your testing — and “ask the farmer or the company — where they source their olives from? I would be more interested in hearing from you about your experience doing what you tell your readers to do, than an advertisement for a product.

    Can you share with us your experiences sourcing the farmers? Thanks!


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