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Olive Oil Smoke Point
Posted by Olive Oil Lovers on
The smoke point of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is 410°F. Perhaps that is higher than you expected?
But remember, the labeling is important here. If your bottle is labeled Olive Oil, Pure Olive Oil, Light Olive Oil, or Extra Light Olive Oil, but NOT Extra Virgin, then it is a highly processed, refined and bleached oil. At the very end a few drops of Extra Virgin Olive Oil gets added to these refined products to give them a hint of flavor and color. Learn more: Watch our Youtube video Understanding Olive Oil Labels.
Most frying applications use heat in the 350-375°F range. The smoke point of a genuine Extra Virgin Olive Oil is 410°F so that means it's a great choice for all your cooking needs, whether you are deep frying, sauteeing or stir frying.
Why does olive oil smoke point matter?
No matter what type of oil you use to cook, you don't want it to smoke. Not only does smoke indicate that the product is becoming carcinogenic, but it also means the high heat is breaking down the molecules of the oil into less stable and - depending on the oil - quite harmful products.
Chemically-processed seed oils can be very high in unhealthy trans fats. This effect is multiplied when heated, because heating a low quality oil - even if it is not smoking - can still cause the oil's molecules to fall apart and actually increase the levels of trans fatty acids in the product. Scientists have already demonstrated that using low quality oils for frying may increase the chance of bowel disease and colon cancer.
But it's a different story with olive oil. Studies show that even when heated at temperatures over 350°F for 36 hours straight, extra virgin olive oil shows impressive stability against oxidation and maintains most of its nutritional properties. This is because extra virgin olive oil is mostly made of monounsaturated fatty acids and has lots of antioxidant plant phenols that provide great protection from degradation.
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Extra virgin olive oil has been proven to have the great stability at high heats. It also has many additional documented health benefits, including the ability to destroy cancer cells and significantly reduce the chance of cardiovascular failure - annually the leading cause of death in the United States. Learn more about the health benefits of olive oil.
When you cook with extra virgin olive oil, you're using an oil with great stability at high heats, one that maintains much of its natural health benefits, and an oil that improves your body's absorption of nutrients from cooked vegetables. It should be no surprise that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the primary cooking oil used in Mediterranean cuisine and is central to healthy Mediterannean diet. Learn more about Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
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