Is it good to fry with olive oil?
How many times did you wonder if it is good to fry with olive oil? Despite being the basic fat in the Mediterranean Diet, the belief that it is not the best option for frying is widespread.
But what is the reality? We’ll tell you everything!
Advantages of frying with olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil brings its natural flavor to your fried foods, as well as enriching them with its healthy properties: polyphenols, vitamin E and other natural antioxidants. In addition, extra virgin olive oil grows in the pan and it is not necessary to use too much.
Another positive point of using olive oil for frying is the preservation of its properties. According to a study by the University of Granada, which was carried out with vegetables, they retain their initial and nutritional properties better when they are fried with extra virgin olive oil; compared to other cooking methods.
Thanks to its high index of monounsaturated fats, olive oil is able to resist high temperatures, reduce its rate of decomposition and produce fewer chemicals than other vegetable oils.
The smoke point of an oil is the temperature from which it begins to burn and produce toxic substances; responsible for the smoke causing itching and irritation of the eyes or nose. This is why it is necessary to prevent any oil from exceeding that temperature.
The smoke points of each oil change during cooking. Remember that the ideal frying temperature ranges between 130ºC and 160ºC. Thus, the smoking temperature of the most used vegetable oils for frying is:
- Extra virgin olive oil: 160ºC - 210ºC.
- Olive oil: 220ºC – 240ºC.
- Pomace olive oil: 230ºC – 240 ºC.
- Coconut oil: 175ºC – 210ºC.
- Sesame oil: 175ºC – 210ºC.
- High oleic sunflower oil: 230ºC.
At first glance, vegetable oils with the highest smoke point may seem like a better choice than extra virgin olive oil for frying. However, if we look at the elaboration of each oil, we verify that extra virgin olive oil is a 100% natural product; and the rest, refined.
Does this mean that the rest of the vegetable oils are harmful because they are refined oils? Of course not. And now we’ll find out why.
Advantages of frying with olive pomace oil
Olive pomace oil is the second healthiest vegetable oil on the market (only behind virgin olive oils). At Vallejo Oils, we consider olive pomace oil to be the perfect oil for frying.Olive pomace oil, like extra virgin, is very rich in oleic acid and is characterized by having exclusive bioactive compounds.
So what’s the difference between extra virgin olive oil and olive pomace oil? Extra virgin olive oil is made through mechanical procedures and olive pomace oil is made through a refining process.
For its part, olive pomace oil for frying achieves a protective effect of both the oil, which is durable and stable; as of food, which absorb its properties. In addition, it has neutral sensory characteristics, which enhances the original quality of the fried food, improving its flavour, texture and colour.
The CISC (Higher Council for Scientific Research) confirms that olive pomace oil is the healthiest oil for frying. In addition to its excellent composition, it defends the advantages of some minority compounds of this oil, which improve the stability of the oil in frying and reinforce the positive effects on cardiovascular health.
Comparison with other vegetable oils
In 2017, a study by the OCU (Organization of Consumers and Users) published a report on the behavior of seven vegetable oils in fryers. The result? Olive pomace oil is the most suitable for frying, coinciding with the CISC.
The oils chosen for the study were:
- High oleic sunflower oil (with and without bubbly).
- Sunflower oil (with and without bubbly).
- Seed oil.
- Olive oil.
- Olive pomace oil.
In total, 40 fried foods were made in home fryers, with an initial temperature of 180ºC and a duration of six minutes. The objective was to measure weight loss and oil absorption in foods.
In conclusion, it is confirmed that both factors (weight loss and oil absorption) are lower when oils with a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids are used, as occurs in virgin olive oil and olive pomace.