`Olive Oil Healthier and Tastier for Frying

Europe

Olive Oil Healthier and Tastier for Frying

Jan. 22, 2013
Naomi Tupper

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New stud­ies per­formed in Jaén, Spain sug­gest extra vir­gin olive oil is not only health­ier, but also tastier than other pop­u­lar oils when fry­ing food.

While extra vir­gin olive oil is widely regarded as one of the health­i­est fat options, it is still often deemed unsuit­able for fry­ing, with many con­sumers pre­fer­ring refined oils such as canola and sun­flower for this pur­pose. The pop­u­lar mis­con­cep­tion that olive oil is not suited to high tem­per­a­ture cook­ing has how­ever been widely dis­proved, and new research out of Spain pro­vides fur­ther evi­dence that not only is olive oil suit­able for fry­ing, it also has a pref­er­en­tial fla­vor when com­pared with other oils.

Two stud­ies were car­ried out in a joint effort by olive oil tech­nol­ogy and research com­pany Cito­liva and olive oil pro­ducer Monva in Jaén, which ana­lyzed the use of olive oil in com­par­i­son to high oleic sun­flower oil when cook­ing two types of fried food. The first phase of the project involved pre­cooked, frozen peeled pota­toes and mini- cro­quettes fried in extra vir­gin olive oil and other pop­u­lar fry­ing oils, with tasters and tech­ni­cians report­ing the per­ceived dif­fer­ences in both taste and smell between the oils.

Tasters reported that the cro­quettes fried in olive oil tasted bet­ter” and were more crunchy.” It was also reported that there were unpleas­ant or stale smells dur­ing the first stages of cook­ing in sun­flower oil, which could be attrib­uted to rapid fatty acid degra­da­tion after the first heat­ing, result­ing in the gen­er­a­tion of volatile, unpleas­ant odors.

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The stud­ies were car­ried out in par­al­lel to an ini­tia­tive orig­i­nally devised by Monva known as Plan Frit­uras,” which aimed to com­pare the econ­omy and high­light health ben­e­fits of using olive oil in com­par­i­son to refined oils in hos­pi­tal­ity and food­ser­vice. Estab­lish­ments through­out main­land Spain and the Balearic Islands have par­tic­i­pated in the move­ment for more than one year and con­tinue to use EVOO for fry­ing, report­ing an aver­age sav­ings of 25 per­cent per month on fry­ing oil.

The project has the sup­port of the Andalu­sian gov­ern­ment, which has con­tributed fund­ing of €11,700 ($15,618), or about a third of the project cost.



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