It’s important that the cooking oil used for frying be stable, otherwise at least 3 changes in the oil can take place at an accelerated pace at the high frying temperature (>1400C): i) fat components in the oil split up to form “breakdown” products, ii) attack by air and moisture to form oxidised products, and iii) non-volatiles (called “polar materials”) are formed and accumulate in the frying medium.
The breakdown and oxidised products formed in the unstable frying oil escape into the atmosphere, and these gummy volatile compounds not only pollute your kitchen environment, but also very often stain and mess up your kitchen walls!
Cooking using palm oil however will not produce excessive smoking, spattering, foaming, and forms less gummy residues in the pans after cooking.
Equally bad if not worse, the non-volatile polar materials formed accumulate in the fried oil and these will spoil the quality and taste of the fried food, as well as nibble away at your health in the long-term!
Animal studies have shown that oxidised oils increased oxidative stress and promote rancidity of the fats in the liver tissues. It has been reported that degraded polyunsaturated frying oils increase risk of hypertension, cancer and heart disease.
It is therefore very important to know how we cook our foods. We must avoid using high temperatures as it will easily oxidize the cooking oil and this will be harmful to health.
So choose a stable cooking oil for your frying needs at home. Reach out for a bottle of palm olein, the liquid fraction of palm oil. It is a very stable edible oil because of its balanced fatty acid composition (it has moderate amount of linoleic acids and small amount of linolenic acids – the two polyunsaturated fatty acids that may polimerised easily) and high content of natural antioxidant, the vitamin E.
In order to compete with palm olein as a stable frying oil, many other vegetable oils have to be partially hydrogenated. This would increase the content of the “bad” trans fatty acids in these oils.
Robin Miller is a health and nutrition editor with more than 30 years of industry experience. She researches and writes about the nutritional benefits of palm fruit oil, with the goal of giving readers factual, science-based information that will be useful in their daily lives.