Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
May 23, 2011 08:35 PM

What's growing in this olive oil??

I bought this bottle of olive oil on sale a few months ago. I kept it in our basement unopened. I pulled it out today and it had some strange stuff inside of it. Is it mold? In an unopened bottle? Any explanations?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Most likely small amounts of olive fruit that made it through the filtering process settling out.

    2 Replies
    1. re: scubadoo97

      But it wasn't there when I bought it.... And an update - I brought it up from our basement last night (which is a bit colder) and today, the "growths" are almost gone. So, now I'm thinking it was solidified olive oil? But it really looked like GROWTHS of some kind! Still kind of afraid to use it!

      1. re: cristina3611

        I bet it was the cooler temp. Our market always posts a sign next to the olive oils during the winter months pretty much letting people know that this is normal when the oil is cold. I guess otherwise people would think it's "growths" or mold or something and wouldn't buy it.

    2. The wax in the oil starts to form clumps if the oil is left to sit for a long time. Harmless!

      1. Wow, i read this last night and was sure it was a mold of some sort - it REALLY looks like it! Good info, if that was my olive oil I probably would have chucked it without asking about it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: montrealeater

          Great - thanks. I knew I'd find my answer here!

          And montrealeater - I definitely WAS going to toss it, but the scientist in me was just too curious to find out what it was!

          1. re: cristina3611

            i've had this happen to me before. i had a bottle in a dark place that i forgot about and found it when cleaning out my cupboards. it had only been there a few months. i shook it up and the clumps seemed to disperse. the oil didn't smell rancid, but i wasn't sure i wanted to eat it.

            since then, i've seen these clumps in "fresh" olive oils. sometimes it's from unstrained/re-coagulated olive pulp and it is in fact harmless. but i've read it can also be a sign of old age/improper storage. i actually bought a cheap bottle of oil that had clumps in it after my good oil had gone clumpy to compare the two. the cheap bottle stunk horribly when i opened it--totally rancid--and i tossed it too.

            anyway, some people eat it, some don't. if it doesn't stink, i'd say it's safe, but to each his own.