Myth: You cannot cook with (heat) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is incorrect. It is safe and suitable to cook with a high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which contains high levels of natural antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the naturally stable oil when heated, making Extra Virgin Olive Oil a very healthy option to cook with (deep frying, pan frying, sautéing, oven baking etc.)1-7
Myth: Extra Virgin Olive Oil/Olive Oil has no expiry date
All oils will degrade over time, and are best consumed as fresh as possible. To keep oil fresh, store it in a cool, dark place with the lid firmly on the bottle when not in use.8-9
Myth: Heating Olive Oil leads to the production of trans fats
Trans fats are mostly produced via partial hydrogenation in industrial kitchens, which cannot be replicated in a domestic or commercial kitchen. There is no production of trans fats when olive oil is heated over limited periods of time in a domestic kitchen environment.10
Myth: Cloudy Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a sign of rancidity
In fact, cloudiness in an oil can be a sign of freshness. New season oil that is the freshly squeezed juice of an olive can sometimes contain a small amount of natural moisture that will settle over time – just like with any other type of juice.11
Myth: You can determine the quality of an Olive Oil by looking at the colour
A quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil will vary in colour (from pale yellow to dark green) dependent upon which olive varietal is used, the climate and the time of harvesting.12
Myth: When you cook vegetables with Extra Virgin Olive Oil the vegetables lose antioxidants
This is incorrect. Recent evidence shows that when cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (including deep frying and sautéing), there is a resultant increase in total phenols (antioxidants) in the cooked food (particularly when cooking raw vegetables). In comparison, when boiling vegetables in water, there is a reduced level of total phenols.13
Myth: You cannot use Extra Virgin Olive Oil when cooking with pans that are non-stick
This is a common myth with no technical evidence to support it. This information often comes from certain kitchenware manufacturers. There is no validated scientific evidence to indicate that the fatty acids in olive oil should act any differently to the fatty acids in other oils when using non-stick pans, or any pans for that matter. When using a high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the high natural antioxidants in the oil, in addition to the high mono-unsaturated fat levels, will prevent the oil from breaking down in the pan and potentially forming volatile compounds.14
- de Alzaa A, Ravetti L, Guillaume C. Preliminary results from the Evaluation of chemical and physical changes in different commercial oils during heating. 2017. Modern Olives.
- Ramirez-Anaya J, Samaniego-Sanchez C, Castaneda-Saucedo M, Villalon-Mir M, Lopez-Garcia de la Serrana H. Phenols and the antioxidant capacity of Mediterranean vegetables prepared with extra virgin olive oil using different domestic cooking techniques. Food Chem. 2015;188:430–8.)
- Allouche Y et al. 2007 How Heating Affects Extra Virgin Olive Oil Quality Indexes and Chemical Composition. J Agric Food Chem. 55: 9646-54
- Casal S et al. 2010 Olive oil stability under deep-frying conditions. Food Chem Toxicol. 48: 2972-7.
- Gomez-Alonso S et al. 2003 Changes in Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Virgin Olive Oil during Frying. J Agric Food Chem. 51: 667-67.
- Perez-Herrara A. et al. 2013 The antioxidants in oils heated at frying temperature, whether natural or added, could protect against oxidative stress in obese people. Food Chem. 138; 2250-2259
- Jiyeong L, Dong A, Jung K, et al. Influence of extra virgin olive oil on the formation of heterocyclic amines in roasted beef steak. Food Sci. 2011;20(1):159–65.
- Olive Oil Source. Keeping olive oil fresh.
- Guillaume C, Ravetti L. Shelf-life prediction of Extra Virgin Olive Oils using an empirical model based on standard quality tests. Journal of Chemistry. 2016;doi.org/10.1155/2016/6393962.
- Aroma Dictionary. Frequently asked questions about Extra Virgin Olive Oil. At: http://www.aromadictionary.com/oliveoilfaq.html
- Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The fresh test! Is your olive oil an extra virgin?
- Aroma Dictionary. Green is good, but so is gold: the colour of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. At: http://www.aromadictionary.com/EVOO_blog/?p=372
- Ramirez-Anaya J, Samaniego-Sanchez C, Castaneda-Saucedo M, Villalon-Mir M, Lopez-Garcia de la Serrana H. Phenols and the antioxidant capacity of Mediterranean vegetables prepared with extra virgin olive oil using different domestic cooking techniques. Food Chem. 2015;188:430–8.
- Australian Olive Association. Pots, pans, woks and Extra Virgin Olive Oil…a mismatch or a perfect mix?