Polyphenols, key component in extra virgin olive oils for frying.

The Spanish Government is preparing a Royal Decree for the promotion of a healthy and sustainable diet in educational centers. The text details that the oil used to dress salads will always be virgin olive oil and olive oil or high oleic sunflower oil will be used for cooking and frying. The specialized olive magazine “Mercacei” asked three experts about this:

Dr. Eduard Escrich (Multidisciplinary Group for the Study of Breast Cancer of the Faculty of Medicine of the Autonoma University of Barcelona -UAB-)

There is scientific evidence indicating that when comparing different oils such as EVOO, olive oil, canola oil, grape oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, rice bran oil and sunflower oil, it is observed that extra virgin olive oil is the most stable cooking oil. In addition to having a type of fatty acids that are less degraded, EVOO has polyphenols. These antioxidant compounds not only prevent the degradation of fatty acids, but also help ensure that other beneficial compounds for health, such as carotenoids or vitamin E, do not degrade as much as they do with other oils during cooking. All these characteristics determine that the EVOO begins to burn at around 200 °C, well above the temperatures of sautéing (about 120 °C), frying (160-180 °C) and roasting (about 180 °C). C). The other oils degrade earlier because they resist much less at these temperatures. Apart from the temperature, exposure to oxygen causes the oils to oxidize. During the cooking process, contrary to what was thought, the content of polyphenols in EVOO is only partially lost, causing its degradation to occur much later than in other oils, which minimizes its toxicity by preventing the intake of harmful compounds formed during cooking.

Dr. Ramón Estruch Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clinic-University of Barcelona CIBER Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn), Carlos III Health Institute, Madrid Mediterranean Diet Foundation.

 In this country we always “walk backwards”. It took a lot for the scientific world and the whole of society to accept the benefits of olive oil and, especially, extra virgin olive oil on health. In fact, EVOO is one of the only two foods that has a “health claim” by European authorities, such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), precisely thanks to its minority components such as polyphenols and vitamin E.

Dr. Fernando López Segura Internist at the Reina Sofía Hospital in Córdoba and researcher at the Maimónides Institute for Biomedical Research (IMIBIC)

 You can be perfectly fry with virgin olive oil, even if it is not an extra virgin of extraordinary quality because virgin olive oils contain the wonderful minority components. If it is fried properly, these minor components are gradually lost but up to four or five frying a significant amount of them persists and that gives the frying its benefits. Therefore, there is no doubt between frying with virgin olive oil or high oleic sunflower oil. Without a doubt, frying with virgin olive oil, and between olive oil and high oleic sunflower, olive oil would continue to persist over high oleic sunflower.

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