Ask Barb - Should I Be Concerned About Cloudiness?

Ask Barb - Should I Be Concerned About Cloudiness?

Barbara Braidwood is one of the founders of Saratoga Olive Oil Co. She enjoys educating our consumers about the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegars and how to incorporate them into a healthy, balanced diet.

Dear Barb,

First of all, I want to thank you for carrying my favorite olive oils in so many different varieties. Your large selection of flavors helps brighten my recipes and has opened up my cooking to several new possibilities.

I recently received my online order and noticed that my beloved Baklouti Green Chili Olive Oil was cloudy. Should I be concerned?

Sandy L.
Indianapolis, IN

Hi Sandy,

I am so happy that you enjoy our olive oils! Thank you as well for your question. We receive many phone calls and emails about this commonly occurring situation. The short answer is, “Your olive oil is perfectly fine to use.”

The longer answer is your oil’s cloudy appearance can occur for a couple of reasons. Your Baklouti Green Chili is a fused olive oil. Fused oils are produced by crushing the olives and the fruit, peppers, or herbs together at the same time. The cloudiness is a natural result of this process as small particles of olive skin and fruit, pepper, or herbs, as well as healthy enzymes, can appear in your oil.

This sediment may look ominous, but it is what gives your olive oil the irresistible flavor that you love. Since our oil is made in batches, one bottle may have more olive sediment than another so one bottle may appear perfectly clear depending on when the oil was decanted in the batch. This can occur in both our fused as well as infused oils.

Another reason for your bottle to have an unclear appearance is if your oil is stored or shipped in cooler temperatures. Like lots of other fruits, olives have a waxy coating on their skins so when the olive and its wax coating are pressed into olive oil, cold temperatures can cause these wax particles to clump together. These small white particles or lumps are perfectly harmless. To get rid of them, simply leave your bottle of olive oil out at room temperature and they will soon melt away.

Of course, if you have a bottle of oil that has been open in your cabinet for a long period of time or has been stored near heat or direct sunlight and appears cloudy or smells bad, it is time to discard that bottle.

Please know that a cloudy appearance is not just limited to olive oil. A similar cloudiness or “blob” can appear in your balsamic vinegar. This is referred to as the “mother” and is a result of the fermentation process. Again, this is harmless and is actually welcomed since the mother has many health benefits due to the presence of beneficial bacteria, yeast, and protein.

Happy Cooking!