The smoke point of any oil can be defined as that point at which oil begins to break down and turn into smoke. Smoke point of oils is related to their free fatty acids and acidity level. The lower the acidity, the higher the smoking point. When it comes to extra virgin olive oil, we see the following points:
- Extra virgin olive oil contains free fatty acids that vary from 0.2% to 0.8%. This percentage indicates the variability of high smoke point of EVOO.
- Processed olive oils also have a less FFA level, thus they also have high and consistent smoke points.
People have spread various myths about cooking with EVOO. If you are confused about it and wanted to know the truth, then you are at the right place. Here in this article I have mentioned scientific facts that can help you tackle your confusion.
Let’s dive in!
Maximum Heating Point of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Maximum heating point of olive oil depends entirely upon its quality. High quality extra virgin olive oil has a high heat point because of lower free fatty acid level. As our main concern here is about extra virgin olive oil, so a point that must be kept in mind is that this oil is an expensive choice but healthy choice.
The extra virgin olive oil’s high smoke point is roughly between 185 ºC to 210 ºC depending upon FFA. According to the International Olive Oil Council, EVOO is the most stable fat, which can withstand frying temperatures. It can be reused for several times and its digestibility is not affected at all.
When it comes to the boiling point of extra virgin olive oil, it is 700 ºC, far more than its smoke point. Olive oils are rich in oleic acid, the reason behind their stability and extra virgin olive oils are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols which fights against the breakdown of oil particles and prevent the free radical formation. Thus, extra virgin olive oil has higher smoke and boiling point as compared to other cooking oils, making it a stable one suitable for cooking and frying.
Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Carcinogenic When Heated?
The simple answer is no. EVOO is the most stable cooking oil that contains polyphenols which prevents the free radical formation, as a result it does not become carcinogenic when heated. Moreover, the excessive re-use of this oil can degrade its quality and might will become carcinogenic for human health.
Many people believe that extra virgin olive oil becomes toxic when heated and is thus not safe to use for cooking. But, over the years, many researches have been made and now it is scientifically proven that EVOO is safe for cooking and frying purposes.
In 2007, a journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry was published. In this journal, scientists performed various tests and concluded that among many other cooking oils, EVOO was the only one that retained its nutritional profile even after persistent cooking at 180 ºC for 36 hours.
Bottom line is, the myth that extra virgin olive oil cannot be heated is untrue and is factless. High quality EVOO is fine for cooking and makes your food even more healthy and nutritious.
Can You Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Frying?
I came across various articles where people are telling not to use extra virgin olive oil for frying or deep frying. I have observed that the most circulating questions regarding EVOO are that, can you fry with extra virgin olive oil?, Can you deep fry with extra virgin olive oil? Is it carcinogenic or not?
EVOO owing to its unique and rich chemistry makes it highly stable at high heat points. So yes, you can use extra virgin olive oil for normal and deep frying. As mentioned above, the maximum heat point of extra virgin olive oil is 185 ºC to 210 ºC, this point is also known as smoke point. Above this temperature, EVOO began to convert into smoke. Frying is usually done below this temperature, which makes it excellent for use.
Extra virgin olive oil is well known all around the globe for its high nutritional benefits. After scientific research it is proved that you can not only use extra virgin olive oil for raw consumption and salad dressing, but can also use for cooking and frying your food. The secret lies in the free fatty acid level which can only be low in pure and high quality extra virgin olive oil.
So, if you want to buy this nutritious oil I would like to recommend you the ‘Spanish oil’. Our company is well known among its consumers for the provision of high quality oil. You can trust us as we provide pure oil harvested and directly shipped from Spain to all around the world with international standard certifications.