A man has shared a suspicious looking image of an olive oil bottle filled with ‘floaties’ to Facebook in hopes the internet would help him discover what they are.
Jake O’Hare and his partner purchased the bottle but suspected the oil had gone bad and weren’t sure whether it was okay to use.
‘Any idea what it is? I’m assuming mould?’ He wrote, leaving many commenters stumped.
While a number of them agreed that it was mould, one well-informed commenter said the answer was far simpler.
‘The white floating elements are actually vegetable wax pellets, which form when the jar hasn’t been ‘winterised’ and is exposed to temperatures less than 10 degress celsius,’ they wrote.
‘Once the oil is heated, by the sun or on a pan, the sediment melts away.’
Olives, like many fruits, have wax on their skins to protect them from insects.
When the oil becomes cold the wax naturally clumps and congeals which may appear as small white particles at the bottom of the jar.
Most olive oil producers ‘winterise’ their products to avoid this happening because customers are less inclined to buy a product with the clumps in it.
Sadly this leads to the olive oil having a less rich flavour than non-winterised oil.
So if you can see the wax spots in your bottle it only means that olive oil bottle was not winterised and therefore might have a stronger flavour.
However, if you do allow the oil time to heat up and the floating wax remains, it’s better to return it.
Many of the commenters on Mr O’Hare’s post were surprised at the relatively straightforward explanation – but still said they’d stay away from it if they saw a similar bottle at the supermarket.