Do Not Over-Heat Olive Oil

Do Not Over-Heat Olive Oil

The virgin olive oil loses its qualities while cooking when the temperature exceeds 200 °C.
Do Not Over-Heat Olive Oil

Olive oil is a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet and it has many qualities: it is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (70 to 80% of fat) and phenolic antioxidants which make it an important element in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases .

Researchers at the University of Porto wanted to know what happens when extra virgin olive oil is heated.

According to their measurements, the polyphenols would begin to degrade before 200 °C because of the low smoke point. In addition, the monounsaturated fatty acids would become detached by hydrolysis, free fatty acids would appear with oxidation products. This means that from about 190 ° C olive oil loses its intrinsic qualities.

These researchers therefore advise to reserve extra virgin olive oil for seasoning, and to use other oils “cheaper” for cooking. They also recommend to incorporate olive oil towards the end of cooking, and not at the beginning.

Our opinion: Most oils support badly heat. The most heat-resistant oils are tropical oils such as coconut oil, an oil that could also be used to start cooking. Refined oleic sunflower oil (stable up to 230 °C), refined peanut oil (stable up to 220 ° C), extra virgin olive oil (stable up to 180 ° C). For information, commercial fryers bring the oil to temperatures between 150 ° C and 190 ° C. The temperature required to seize a meat in the pan is about 190 ° C. Whether it is the food itself or the fatty substances, We discourage high temperatures in any case and on the contrary encourages soft cooking, low temperature (less than 100 ° C), for example, cooking with Smothered. Even in the oven, you can stay at reasonable temperatures by simply extending the cooking time.



Santos C, Cruz R, Cunha S, Casal S. Effect of cooking on olive oil quality attributes. Food Research International. 2013.

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