When choosing an edible oil, most health-conscious people are obsessed with the smoke point. This is the temperature at which a trail of blue smoke blows up and triggers the smoke detector in the kitchen, causing your poodle and similarly agitated people to wet themselves.
The smoke point was for two main reasons, a taste reason, always a problem and a health related. An oil that has been pressed to its smoke point and beyond makes every meal you cook taste like the charred sausage that your uncle pulled out of the campfire on the last 4th of July picnic.
An oil that has reached its smoke point It is also believed that it is well on its way to turning your cooking oil into a toxic stew of flammable, cell-damaging and potentially carcinogenic chemicals.
Smoke point is irrelevant
Much physical factors can determine the smoke point, eg. For example, the amount of oil used, the size of the pan, the air currents, the height, the type and source of the light and especially the amount of free fatty acids (FFA). Contains the oil or fat.
The more FFA, the faster it decays and begins to smoke. However, since FFA normally accounts for less than 1
More worrying is the production of 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), which is involved in cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cell life and death.
HNE arise when highly unsaturated oils like grape seed, safflower, sunflower, and rice bran oil are heated, but not necessarily until their smoke point. To make matters worse, one can not really say when HNE is formed because it is odorless, tasteless and invisible.
That's why we need to cook with oils that are low in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Enter an old favorite that has long been considered too "tender" for frying: extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).
Australian Scientists Burn Oil on Laboratory Barbie  Over the past year, Australian scientists have rigorously tested a range of oils to find out which ones can best withstand the challenges of heat.
Their goal was to study the formation of malignant byproducts such as HNE and to measure the propensity of these oils to form free radicals. It turned out that extra virgin olive oil did best and did not produce a significant amount of harmful compounds. It also showed admirable oxidation resistance. Granted, it did not have the highest smoke point, but that did not seem to matter.
The price for the high smoke point went to the runner-up: coconut oil. Besides being the champion of smoke points, it has not produced any significant amount of harmful compounds. However, in the oxidation section it was not quite as good as in EVOO because it was somewhat less resistant to this chemical reaction.
"Reasonable predictions on how an oil behaves when heated In view of its oxidation stability, oxidation by-products, and total PUFA content, EVOO has proven to be the most stable oil on heating, closely followed by coconut oil and other native oils such as avocado and oilseed oils. "
How to use this information
Choose extra virgin olive oil when roasting or roasting, but if you want to save your EVOO – which is usually more expensive – for drizzling on your food, Opt for coconut oil.
You Can Use Other "native" oils (those obtained by old-fashioned pressing instead of chemical extraction) such as avocado oil, high oleic acid (monounsaturated fats) such as rapeseed, or those that are not normally oil-containing edible oils were grown selectively to co obtained higher levels of oleic acid than is typical of their species. Examples include oil-rich sunflower oil, oil-rich soybean oil and oil-rich safflower oil.
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- De Alzaa F., Guillaume C. and Revetti L., "Assessment of chemical and physical changes in various commercial oils during of Heating ", Acta Scientific Nutritional Health, Vol. 2, June 6, 2018.
- Miklos Csala et al. "The Role of 4-Hydroxynoneal in Health and Disease", Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Molecular Basis of Disease, Vol. 1852, Issue 5, May 2015, pp. 826-838.