Who said that extra virgin olive oil is not good for frying?

  • Post last modified:12/09/2022
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Today we want to make a significant contribution to the ‘dismantling’ of the long-established but actually unfounded theory that extra virgin olive oil is not good for frying… Who said that?!

High quality extra virgin olive oil is not only perfectly suitable for frying, but it can be even proposed as the ideal choice for this purpose. This is even more relevant today as we look at the recent events – starting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine – which have led to a price increase of many raw materials and in particular of all types of seed oil.

The Italian extra virgin olive oil is definitely a high-quality foodstuff, obtained directly from olives and solely by mechanical means, that has to considered as a true ally of our health. It is universally known to be an excellent raw condiment for flavouring our dishes and preserving food, but above all it is an irreplaceable condiment of the famous Mediterranean diet. However, what few people know, is the use of extra virgin olive oil for frying…  Let’s find out more!

Up to a few years ago, as we said, it was believed that using extra virgin olive oil for frying was almost sacrilegious because it was considered too valuable and, at the same time, rather heavy to digest. In reality, extra virgin olive oil can be defined as the ‘jewel in the crown of Italian cuisine’, not only for the innumerable benefits it brings to the human health, but also because it reveals its superior quality even when used for frying! And in particular this type of food cooking, like others, requires the use of top-quality ingredients in order to maintain the food’s nutritional properties and make it easily digestible.

High quality extra virgin olive oil is ideal also for frying, thanks to its high ‘smoke point’, which is the maximum temperature at which oil starts to burn and release toxic substances that are harmful to our bodies. The great stability of high-quality extra virgin olive oil at high temperatures is guaranteed by its rich content of vitamin E, polyphenols and antioxidants, substances that counteract the degradation of the product and the release of free radicals in food. The highest is the quality of the extra virgin olive oil and the highest is the content of vitamin E, polyphenols and antioxidants. To understand the superior quality of extra virgin olive oil, we only need to know that its smoke point is around 210° C, while, for instance, that of sunflower oil is only 130° C. This means precisely that seed oil deteriorates much more easily than extra virgin olive oil by releasing at a lower “smoke point” toxic substances that are harmful to our bodies. In addition, sunflower oil, and in general seed oil, is refined through chemical processes whereas extra virgin olive oil is a 100% natural product and, especially if cold-pressed, we have certainty to use an ingredient of the highest quality.

So our idea is more than confirmed: high quality extra virgin olive oil is not only a delicious and highly digestible raw food, but also an excellent element to use in the kitchen for frying our favourite foods, which, thanks to its use, will be even tastier and crispier, as well as lighter.

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