Researchers once again reprimand the belief that frying olive oil is not safe. The findings show that frying with olive oil is no more harmful than the use of other oils, it may even be the safest choice.
Researchers from the University of the Basque Country in Spain studied the aldehyde content of olive oil, sunflower oil and linseed oil after heating them to 190 ℃. The conclusions once again overthrow the myth that frying with olive oil is not safe.
It is a widespread belief that frying food in vegetable oil can be unhealthy due to toxic chemicals (called aldehydes) produced during the process. Aldehydes are organic compounds containing a carbon-oxygen double bond, which are naturally formed in the human body in small amounts. Excess consumption of aldehydes is believed to contribute to the symptoms of diseases such as diabetes.
The results showed that polyunsaturated sunflower and linseed oils produce higher amounts of aldehydes at a faster rate than monounsaturated (olive oil) oils. Olive oil produces fewer aldehydes even at a later stage of the heating process. By comparing the results, it is safe to say that olive oil is really the best choice for frying.
Experts argue that the potential risk also depends on the quality and freshness of the oil, and how warm it is. We can only say that frying food in shallow quantities of olive oil for short periods of time is unlikely to lead to exposure to aldehydes and does not pose a greater risk than frying other oils. It has also been suggested that the high antioxidant content of olive oil can even reduce the amount of potentially harmful chemicals produced during heating