Cooking oil is one of the few basic cooking ingredients that will always be used in culinary applications. Health-conscious individuals are now making the switch from conventional vegetable cooking oils (palm oil, canola oil, coconut oil, etc.) to the increasingly popular olive oil.
Fortified oils = Unnatural Benefits
The new popular wisdom that olive oil is healthier than conventional vegetable oils comes from an awareness of how the latter oils are produced. Heat and solvent extraction methods are required to make palm, canola and coconut oils. This results in damaged vitamins and phenolic compounds. To make up for the lost health benefits, producers add vitamins and antioxidants artificially — also known as fortification. This may give some health benefits, but it isn’t natural!
Health Benefits of Olive Oils
Having been mostly cold-pressed — extracted without heat and solvents — olive oil retains its original goodness. Olive oil is rich in various phenolic compounds that act as natural antioxidants. These prevent damaging radicals in the air from oxidizing important organic chemicals in our body, which then prevents early ageing, reduces the risk of cancer, and inflammation.
Vitamins, omega-3 and omega-6 fats are essential components that the body cannot produce on its own. Studies have found that they can improve brain health, reduce anxiety, and of course keep the heart’s health and cholesterol levels in check.
Difference Between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Pomace Olive Oil
A common misconception is to think that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is purer than pomace olive oil. Both contain the same amount of olive oil, but the difference is in their grade. EVOO is the highest grade of olive and is used in fresh and uncooked applications, like salad, pesto, and garnish or coating. Pomace olive oil, which comes from the hard-to-extract pulp remains, is hot-pressed, contains fewer antioxidants and vitamins, and is better used for sautee and even grilling. EVOO is sometimes added to pomace to increase the quality and value, and therefore the grade of olive oil.
How to use Olive Oils to Their Fullest Potential
Olive oil has a distinct flavor and any health-conscious individuals will know whether or not the food is prepared with healthy oil. It’s not economical to rely on extra virgin olive oil alone. Your kitchen should at least have extra virgin olive oil and pomace olive oil. The strategy is to use pomace olive oil for frying, grilling, and sautee, and then add a top-note olive oil flavor using a bit of extra virgin olive oil to create a glossy brisket, or to drip a few around chicken or fish to finish.
Experiment with a combination of the two when making Spaghetti Aglio e olio to balance economy and flavor. Too much extra virgin olive oil might distract from the fresh onion aroma. Important to note is to always use extra virgin oil for pastes such as pesto, as this is a high-value paste and customers would rather pay for quality aroma treats rather than a simple oily condiment.
Ondoliva olive oils are suitable choices to complete your healthy oil collection. From the Spanish Mediterranean hills, we bring you the richness of ripe olives which is highly versatile, natural and offers great value for consumers. Here at Puri Pangan Utama, we are pioneers of the food supply chain in Bali, and we believe that everyone deserves good food to accompany a good, long life.