Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be used to prepare many dishes. Here are some reasons why.
A Quick Chemistry Lesson
Oils are mainly made up of triglycerides, which are fats. These oils are composed of a number (hence the 'tri') of fatty acids that are attached to a chemical known as glycerol.
Oils also contain a limited amount of free fatty acid, which is fatty acids that have not been bonded with glycerol but are floating on their own. There are many oils that contain different levels of free fatty acid, and it all depends on the quality of the petroleum jelly.
You can choose to have the fatty acids in your oil as part of a free or saturated. Monounsaturated fats do not have double bonds while saturated fats do not have any. Polyunsaturated oils, however, have many double bonds.
Oils can be damaged by exposure to light, heat, and air, particularly if they are exposed to significant heat or prolonged heat. To ensure freshness, it is best to keep any oil in a cool, dark place. This is why you will need to be careful with your oils when cooking with them.
Understanding Smoke Points
The smoke point refers to the temperature at which bluish smoke rises continuously from the oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a natural solution, contains only a small amount water.
This means that you will often see steam rise from the oil when it is heated in the pan. (Don't think this is a sign you are damaging the petroleum.) Heating petroleum beyond its smoke point increases the risk of oxidative damage as well as the growth of potentially dangerous chemicals.
Polyunsaturated fats that have a variety of double bonds are most vulnerable and susceptible to damage. Saturated fats that do not have dual bonds are extremely stable. Monounsaturated fats, however, are more resistant to oxidative damages.
Oils with high levels of free fat acids are more vulnerable to oxidative damages. The smoke recommendation is usually used to determine whether an oil type can be used for cooking. Although it is an important factor, it can be a secondary one.
If you only look at Olive Oils, there are likely to be a number of smoke issues depending on the source. It all depends on the quality and quantity of the oil.
It is a good source of monounsaturated, stable fatty acids.
It contains a minimal amount of free fatty acid.
It also contains high levels of antioxidants.
Extra Virgin Olive Oils can often be found with smoke issues. These usually range between 190-220°C. The higher end range is where the highest quality oils are found, such as Cobb Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oils.
This is how you can compare cooking. Sauteing on the stove is a good way to cook, while deep-frying and roasting in the oven are better. You may not prepare food at a higher temperature than this.
It is important to note that there is no additional benefit to using oil or fats with a higher nicotine stage. This means that if your vegetable roasting is at 180°C, then your extra virgin olive oils will work well as long as it has a smoke point above this. It is safer to choose an oil that has a smoke point greater than 220degC.
We Must Strive for Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A few exceptional studies have supported the stability of Extra Virgin Olive Oil during ingestion. These scientific reports have really opened the door to the possibility of different oils separating. They heat the oils repeatedly, so they heat them for long periods of time and heat them to boiling point.
These conditions are almost impossible to achieve in home cooking. Therefore, extra-virgin oil will prove safe when used at home. This is also true for oils rich in polyunsaturated fats like sunflower oil or generic vegetable oil.
Research has shown that extra virgin olive oil can increase the amount of antioxidants in vegetables. This doubles the benefits of extra virgin olive oil's excellent fats and greater availability of protecting compounds.
There is a lot of research that supports extra virgin olive oil's role as a nutritious, healthy food. It can be used in cold shellfish, for drizzling and in nearly all cooking applications. It is not only safe, but it also has great flavour and benefits for our health.
As the Mediterranean countries have done for hundreds of years, so do we. We love to cook with extra virgin olive oils.