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Frying, stewing or raw: how to choose the best olive oil for each use in the kitchen

Frying, stewing or raw: how to choose the best olive oil for each use in the kitchen

The OCU had published a guide with the characteristics and recommended uses in each case: oil from olive pulp, virgin and EVOO

Rossel Aparicio

Málaga

Tuesday, 20 February 2024, 09:54

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Its price does not cease to scare shoppers, but it is still one of the most important products in the kitchens of Spain. However olive oil is not always used in the right way. Consumers organisation OCU has a guide available for the public to discover the different types of olive oil available in any supermarket and to find out which is the most suitable for each use: in the fryer, when cooking stews or raw. Take note.

  1. Types of olive oil

The guide starts by breaking down the characteristics of the main olive oils in the supermarket. These are the following:

-Oil from olive pulp. As the OCU explains, this type of oil is extracted from the residue of olives (pits, skins...) "which is then refined and mixed with some virgin oil". Although it is of "poorer quality", it is, however, very suitable for use in fryers, according to the OCU.

- Olive oil. "It is also known as refined oil, and is obtained by mixing normal oil and virgin olive oil. Depending on the percentage of virgin oil, it can be found with designations such as mild or intense refined oil", the organisation points out.

-Virgin olive oil. Known as AOV from its Spanish initials. It is obtained by physical methods. It has a maximum acidity of 2º, fruity aroma, presents small defects in taste or aroma.

-Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO or AOVE in Spanish). It is extracted by physical methods from the olive. It has a maximum acidity of 0.8º and a fruity aroma without defects. "It is the highest quality and the most highly valued," the OCU points out.

  1. The best use for each oil

The OCU insists that each type of olive oil has different characteristics, properties and prices and that all these factors should be taken into account when making the choice, bearing in mind the use to which it will be put for cooking.

In frying, for example, the OCU recommends using refined oil, "which has a higher smoke point". On the other hand, in deep fat fryers, olive oil from pulp may be more useful, "because it withstands longer frying". For stews, it is better to opt for virgin olive oil or refined olive or seed oil. Finally, when used raw, "the special properties of a good extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) can be better appreciated", stresses the organisation.

  1. Benefits of olive oil

In the guide, the OCU also highlights a series of benefits associated with olive oil. The organisation points out that this liquid gold is a heart-healthy fat that "improves cardiovascular health by helping to maintain an adequate level of blood cholesterol". It is also a product that has a high oleic acid content, "an essential fatty acid that, for example, favours child development". Finally, the organisation points out that they all contain antioxidants, especially virgin and extra virgin olive oil.

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