Frying food in olive pomace oil is healthier than using more conventional cooking oils, according to a study conducted by the Higher Council for Scientific Research’s (CSIC) fat institute in Spain.
“Among the advantages of frying with olive pomace oil, it is worth highlighting the improvement in many cases of the fatty acid profile and the enrichment of the food in antioxidant compounds,” said María Victoria Ruiz Méndez, the lead author of the study and researcher at the CSIC’s fat institute.
The main conclusion (of the study) is that we eat compounds of nutritional interest when we fry food with olive pomace oil.
Olive pomace oil, produced from the second pressing of ground olive fruits, contains specific and beneficial compounds, including squalene, tocopherols and sterols.
The oil also comprises triterpenic acids and alcohols and fatty aliphatic alcohols, both of which are associated with lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (good) cholesterol.See Also: Reducing the Size of Pomace Oil Particles Increases Its Healthy Properties, Study Shows
“Numerous in vitro and preclinical studies support the relationship of these exclusive compounds with the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and risk factors such as cholesterol and high biological activity associated with cardiovascular function,” Ruiz Méndez said.
In the study, researchers demonstrated that these healthy phenolic compounds and fatty acids were not denatured or deformed when heated to the temperatures habitually used to fry food both domestically and in industrial kitchens.
The researchers also found that while the total fat content of foods fried or deep-fried with olive pomace oil increased, the food absorbed some of the oil’s beneficial compounds.
These same benefits were not observed by foods fried with sunflower oil or high-oleic sunflower oil, both of which are commonly used cooking oils in the country.
“The main conclusion [of the study] is that we eat compounds of nutritional interest when we fry food with olive pomace oil,” Ruiz Méndez said.
“Due to the dilution effect, [the food’s] saturated fatty acid contents and the cholesterol level are reduced; and the content of phytosterols is increased,” she added.
José Luis Maestro Sánchez-Cano, the president of Spain’s interprofessional association of olive pomace oil (Oriva), which provided funding and support for the study, said the findings confirmed the oil’s culinary value.
“It reaffirms the good behavior of olive pomace oil in frying,” he said. “This study clears up questions about the preservation of its components and of course their nutritional value.”