Olive oil is more stable and healthful than seed oils for frying food, a new study has found. Scientists report in the American Chemical Society (ACS) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that olive oil withstands the heat of the fryer or pan better than several seed oils to yield more healthful food.
Mohamed Bouaziz and colleagues note that different oils have a range of physical, chemical and nutritional properties that can degrade oil quality when heated. Some of these changes can lead to the formation of new compounds that are potentially toxic.
By-products of heating oil can also lower the nutritional value of the food being fried. Bouaziz’s team wanted to find out which cooking oil can maintain its quality under high heat and repeated use. The researchers deep- and pan-fried raw potato pieces in four different refined oils – olive, corn, soybean and sunflower – and reused the oil 10 times.
They found that olive oil was the most stable oil for deep-frying at 160 and 190 degrees Celsius, while sunflower oil degraded the fastest when pan-fried at 180 degrees. They concluded that for frying foods, olive oil maintains quality and nutrition better than seed oils.
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