Updated: Mar 8
I get asked this a lot. Especially because there is plenty of conflicting information out there, particularly around the safety of cooking with your Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) at high heat. So lets cover THREE important factors that need to be followed to increase longevity and maintain the quality of your Romley Estate extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and the highest temperature you can actually go!
1. Oxygen is the biggest threat to your EVOO. Contact with oxygen is the leading cause of oxidation.
Some of EVOO’s most important components, such as its polyphenols and tocopherols, play a role in defining its flavour and healthy properties as well as in preserving its quality.
When EVOO comes into contact with oxygen, it oxidizes. When this happens, the polyphenols oxidate first, protecting the product’s fatty acids. And we don’t want to destroy those precious polyphenols, which are so gorgeously high in important antioxidants!
So always make sure you properly seal your Romley bottles, and don't leave oil sitting out of the bottle for too long!
2. Temperature. There are two points I’d like to make on EVOO and temperature; 1. What temperature you should store your oil at, and 2. The highest temperature you should cook with your EVOO.
First of all, the optimal temperature range for EVOO storage is between 14 ºC and 18 ºC. Such a range contributes to longer durability for the most relevant EVOO properties. Still, many of its qualities will be safe even if temperatures fall significantly out of that range - so no need to check your cupboard with a thermometer just yet!
Under 12 °C, EVOO might begin to show signs of solidification, but that will not damage its organoleptic and nutritional qualities. Such damage can occur when temperatures get too close to 0 °C, however.
Secondly, there is LOADS of misinformation regarding cooking at high temperature with EVOO, as covered in last weeks blog post. But just to reiterate, these negative allegations might be true with low-quality oil, however, we’re talking about our multi-award winning extra virgin olive oil here... so the rules change.
Good quality EVOO is in fact the most stable oil to cook with, and can be heated as high as 400℉/204C (ie. deep frying occurs at 350-375℉).
Even when heated past its smoke point, GOOD QUALITY EVOO produces low levels of harmful compounds due to the high antioxidant content in the oil.
A good thing to note is that polyphenol antioxidants still remain after heating. Starting with a good quality EVOO that contains high amounts of polyphenols (over 250 mg/kg) is recommended so that even more remain after heating.
3. Light. An EVOO stored in full light will quickly lose its healthy profile, and may even degrade in a matter of months to the point of no longer being edible.
Among the reasons for this is the role exerted by chlorophyll, an EVOO component that is triggered by light exposure. Once this happens, the chlorophyll destroys other crucial EVOO contents.
Storing EVOO in the dark guarantees a duration that is almost three times longer than storing it in the light.
More specifically, EVOO’s healthy properties are easily preserved in the dark and can still fully express themselves in terms of flavor and health benefits even after prolonged storage.
We have a range of EVOO's that we handpicked and made ourselves at Romley Estate. Our oils have won numerous awards, and are used by some of Australia's top chefs and restaurants.
To check out our range, click here: https://www.romleyestate.com/extravirginoliveoil