MYTHBUSTERS

Olive Oil is not good for frying (or cooking)

Myth

Contrary to what most consumers and unfortunately many chefs around the world believe, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not only suitable for frying but actually it is the healthiest way for frying or cooking compared to the commonly used vegetable oils and seed oils.

It has to do with 3 reasons. The first one is the smoking point of the oil that is used. Smoking point is the temperature above which the oil starts to lose the consistency, to disintegrate and this is the point where the toxic and carcinogenic free radicals are created! In the vegetable oils and seed oils the smoking point starts from 180oC – 190oC and that is because they contain polyunsaturated fat. That means they have multiple double bonds that are weaker, they break up easier and the breaking up creates the release of an oxygen atom that is floating around, and this is the free radical. From the first time you fry in a seed oil, free radicals are created, and you must throw that oil away.

On the other hand, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a higher smoking point starting from 190oC and can reach the level of 215oC depending on the acidity level. The lower the acidity level, the higher the smoking point. That has to do with the monounsaturated fat of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a single double bond that is stronger and can withstand heat much better and breaks up at higher temperatures. That means you can fry with an Extra Virgin Olive Oil of top quality 3 times before you throw it away.

The second reason has to do with findings of researches which proved that when we use Olive Oil to sauté vegetables then the powerful Oleacein polyphenol containing antioxidants migrates into the vegetables. This means that the vegetables are not just tastier but also healthier as we need more antioxidants in our daily diet to fight free radicals.

The third and final reason has to do with what happens when we are deep-frying in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A thin but strong membrane is created in the outer surface of the French fries, for example. This membrane does not allow more Olive Oil to get into the potato making it crunchier and more important to contain less calories compared to frying with sunflower or any other seed or vegetable oil!

This myth is created for one reason only: It costs more to fry or cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil of top quality. But we must remember never to put a price tag to our health!

For more information for the findings of the medical researches please send us an email to info@gaea.gr