Not all cooking oils are equal, but to the layman, it’s a tough job to spot the crucial differences which separate good oils form mediocre ones.
That’s why we’ve put together this short article with a list of five of the most important things you should look for when buying cooking oil.
Each cooking oil offers different health benefits.
Olive oil, for example, is packed with monounsaturated fats, which help reduce the bad type of cholesterol in your blood, reducing the risk of stroke or heart-attack.
Studies suggest that daily intake of coconut oil may help you lose weight by burning calories faster and reducing appetite. It also has unique anti-microbial properties, and can kill fungal infections such as ringworm or thrush.
Our speciality, Avocado oil, is a fantastic source of potassium, which lowers blood pressure, keep muscles and nerves working, and regulates your heartbeat. They also help in regulate blood sugar levels, especially in those with diabetes.
The extraction process
Back in the year 2000, Olivado pioneered the cold-pressed extraction method for extra-virgin avocado oil.
This ground-breaking process takes the pulp of the avocado, and mashes it up in a giant mixer, turning it into something resembling guacamole.
This puree then goes into a centrifuge, where it spins with enough force to separate the oil and the water contained in the pulp. This is the oil which is bottled and sold.
This cold-pressed extraction process is similar to the traditional method, however, there is one key difference which separates us from everyone else – the temperature.
We are very careful never to let the temperature of the process rise above 50C. This way, the oil produced will retain all the goodness and nutritional properties of the avocado fruit.
Only by using this extraction technique can an avocado oil truly be called a virgin oil. This is important, because there are no official standards for oils (other than olive oil) in order to be classed as virgin.
Unfortunately, there are many cooking oils out there sporting “extra virgin” on their labels when they simply are not.
What you’ll be using it for
Different oils suit different situations.
One of the main differences between cooking oils are their smoking (or flash) point. Any budding cook will need to know the different smoking points of oils and which ones to use for certain foods.
As a general rule, the higher an oil’s smoking point, the more refined and processed it is. A higher smoking point means there are more cooking options available through that oil. Low smoking points are fine for lightly sautéing, but if you intend on deep frying, then you’ll need the right tools for the job.
Our extra virgin avocado and macadamia nut oils are perfect for cooking at high heat, retaining all their healthy properties and flavours (up to 255°C and 210°C respectively)., with the avocado oil also excellent for salads and vegetables, or with bread.
Our Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is perfect for medium temperatures, and is great for stir-frying, baking, and sautéing,
Extra virgin olive oil should never be used for cooking; it burns at temperatures above 180°C. Use your extra virgin olive oil for salads or with bread, or on pastas, vegetables and meat after cooking.
Taste and colour
A high-quality cooking oil should have the same characteristics as the fruit it came from.
Our extra virgin avocado oil is green, just as it should be after the cold extraction process. Good quality olive oil is also slightly green, with a sharp peppery taste at the back of the throat.
A quick indicator of the quality of a cooking oil is the container it comes in.
High-quality oils should only come in dark glass bottles, which keep out light and oxygen, and prevent the oil from going rancid.
Rancid oils have an unpleasant odour and acrid taste; they are high in destructive free radicals and should not be used. Plastic or PET bottles allow the diffusion of oxygen, and may also leach endocrine-disruptive phthalates.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Quality cooking oils cost more because they are more difficult to produce. The harder they are to produce, the more expensive they cost on the shelf.
Price is simply a good indicator of quality. The increase in production of quality oils is a response to consumer demand for a better quality. The majority of cheap culinary oils available in supermarkets have been refined, thereby losing their natural flavour and goodness.
Another good indicator of the quality of an oil is the size of the bottle. Large plastic bottles of oil tend to be low-quality, and will start to turn as soon as their opened and exposed to oxygen.
Remember, it is better to buy quality oil in small quantities, rather than a lot of a cheap oil in bulk.
Why Olivado cooking oils meet all the standards
As pioneers of the cold-pressed extraction process, we are proud to see this method now being used all over the world. This trend is set to continue, as interest in high-quality, healthy oils continue to grow.
Our cold-pressed cooking oils retains all of their natural goodness and taste with minimal processing, earning the right to truly be called extra virgin.
The rich smooth taste of our oils enhance the flavours of delicate foods, and our range of smoking points make everything from salad dressing to deep frying a pinch.