Virgin Olive Oil consumption, as final seasoning or within cooked foods, is steadily growing globally, mainly because it’s recognized for its nutritional benefits. Nonetheless, the maintenance of its quality and health attributes after thermal processing is often questioned.
Our Olive Oil experts will discuss a careful review of published studies on the assessment of Olive Oil thermal processing, in order to discover the optimal settings for maximization of Olive Oil quality, while slowing up the onset of oxidation products with detrimental health impacts.
Through the selection of a specific olive grade, such as extra-virgin, virgin or refined Olive Oil, unique beginning compositions may be achieved, specifically regarding bioactive and antioxidant compounds, with a direct effect on thermal performance and nutritional value of cooked foods.
In addition, an assortment of cooking practices, from common frying to boiling and including microwave cooking, along with operating conditions, as time, temperature and food amounts, undoubtedly modify the Olive Oil chemical profile.
Based on theses compiled studies, in order to preserve Virgin Olive Oil bioactive components, heating time should be taken down to the minimum.
Olive Oil performance under prolonged thermal processing is generally equal or superior to other refined vegetable oils, due to its balanced composition regarding both major and minor components.
However, as most of its bioactive components, including phenolic compounds, are lossed over time, it is economically better to use lower Olive Oil grades and constant replenishment under prolonged thermal processing.
Ultimately, it will help with future studies having to deal with thermal degradation paths of minor Olive Oil components and their implication in human health will be of particular value to further clarify this issue.