We all know that the food industry doesn’t give a shit about the public’s health despite a string of exposés revealing regularly consumed foods to actually be detrimental to our health. Another regularly consumed food has been proven to be carcinogenic and it’s a kitchen staple that is used on a daily basis – vegetable oil.
The study, published in Science Direct, measured and analysed the thermal degradation three vegetable oils, inclusive of extra virgin and refined versions. Out of sunflower, canola and olive oil, the study reports that olive oils have the least action of thermal load and “the worst effect in terms of thermal decomposition products formation and the loss of cis double bonds arise for sunflower oils.”
Alongside proteins and carbohydrates, everyone can agree that fat is equally an essential part of our diet. The study reports that the intake of vegetable oils is very important, however, saturated fatty acids contain “a substantantial proportion of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These unsaturated fatty acids represent on one hand the health benefit of edible oils in their consumption by humans or livestock, on the other hand also a source of instability of oils in the process of technological processing, storage or cooking.”
Vegetable oils are sensitive to oxidative conditions due to their high level of double bonds and create degradation products that are considered to be toxic such as aldehydes, ketones, epoxides, hydroxy compounds, etc. The authors report that “oxidative stress can cause conjugated double bond system formation as well as evaluation of trans fatty acids. The content of these oxidation products can correspond to oil technological treatment, method and duration of storage and it has undesirable influence on nutritional quality, safety and sensory properties. Oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids is the main reaction responsible of the degradation of lipids.”