STUDY FINDS EXTRA-VIRGIN OIL IS HEALTHY FOR HOME COOKING

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Barcelona and the University of Sao Paolo has affirmed the claim by advocates of Mediterranean cuisine that extra virgin oil, which is extracted without using heat or chemicals, is healthy even when used for sautéing, stir-frying and deep-frying.

The study, for which the researchers simulated the conditions in a domestic kitchen, showed that temperature did have a degrading effect on the polyphenols of extra virgin olive oil during the sauté cooking process. At 120°C, the content of polyphenols decreased by 40% and at 170°C, it decreased by 75% – compared to the levels of antioxidants in raw oil.


Time had an effect on such individual phenols, such as hydroxytyrosol, but not on the total phenol content, the study said, and concluded that in the main, antioxidant levels remained within the “healthy range,” as stated in European regulation.


"Despite the decrease in concentration of polyphenols during the cooking process, this oil has a polyphenol level that reaches the declaration of health in accordance to the European regulation, which means it has properties that protect oxidation of LDL (low density lipoproteins) cholesterol particles," noted co-author Julián Lozano.

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