Myth Busted – Yes, you can cook at high heat with EVOO!
Recent research has highlighted that oxidative stability is a far better predictor of how oil reacts when cooking at high heat, compared to the commonly held belief that smoke point was the best indicator. Oxidative Stability refers to how well an oil can resist oxidation and uphold its quality. Oxidation is the point at which the oil breaks down both in flavour and quality and produces potentially harmful polar compounds. Evidence has shown these compounds are detrimental to health and have been linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a highly stable oil, rich in healthy mono-unsaturated fat and is high in antioxidants that protects the oil from breaking down when heated.
The chart below highlights that coconut oil ranks the highest for oxidative stability, mainly due to its high saturated fat content, but ranks the worst for antioxidants at 8 compared to a whopping 5972 for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Both Extra Virgin Olive Oil and coconut oil can be cooked with at high heat, but coconut oil simply lacks the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The research highlights that oils high in polyunsaturated fats, such as canola, sunflower and rice bran oils, have very few antioxidants and are highly susceptible to oil breakdown and oxidation, producing harmful compounds. For this reason, it is suggested that Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats that come from polyunsaturated fats should be consumed from whole foods such as nuts and fish rather than the vegetable oil.
So, get cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil! It’s safe for every style of cooking, frying on the stovetop, on the barbeque, deep frying, in the wok or in the oven. Feel safe in the knowledge that the amazing aroma, taste and health benefits of EVOO will remain when cooking your favourite dish.