Today, I would like to explain to you why in the virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil may appear a kind of whitish or yellowish balls, more or less extensive, in the bottom of the bottle. Due to the cold weather, we have received some calls from our customers asking about these white balls and we would like to answer them.
Theses balls are the appearance of solidified oil pieces because low temperatures make it solidified. As it is a completely natural good, it could have some physical changes when the temperature changed, as it happens with many other foods: when we heat the milk forms a layer of cream on the top or when we freeze water it solidifies. As the temperature drops, the olive oil gradually freezes, but it does not do it homogeneously as it happens with water.
This fact happens because extra virgin olive oil is made up of several types of triglyceride molecules and each of them freezes at different temperatures, however, water is composed of a single type of molecules. These triglycerides contain a number of fatty acids. The most abundant in olive oil are: oleic, palmitic, linoleic and stearic.
As I said earlier, each fatty acid is frozen at a specific temperature. The range of temperatures goes from about 20 ° C to below 0 ° C. Oleic is frozen at 5.5 ° C, palmitic at 18 ° C, linoleic at -2.8 ° C and stearic at 23 ° C. Therefore, as the temperature decreases, a series of white balls will appear depending on the solidification temperature of each fatty acid. That is why you can see at 23 ° C the formation of small solid balls.
Thus the presence of these whitish solid compounds in olive oil is a completely natural process that is not related to the quality. So do not worry if you see these balls in the Olive Oil and of course do not throw it away because you can still consume it without any problem!