How many frying can be done with the same olive oil?
Researchers from the University of Jaén (UJA) are trying to answer this question, who have implemented an innovative artificial intelligence system to advance knowledge about the conservation and use of olive oil and obtain patterns for predicting its useful life when it is used. in frying
The model created determines the maximum number of frying before certain undesirable substances generated during cooking reach certain limits.
Current legislation only advises against oils that exceed 25% of polar compounds that make vegetable fat useless.
"What we do in the first place is to analyze variables that have to do with the quality of the olive oil that is used (for example, acidity, peroxides or polyphenols), with the food to be fried and with its frying process (temperature, time or quantity of product)”, indicates Antonio Jesús Rivera, one of the directors of the Intelligent Systems and Data Mining research group (SIMIAT) of the aforementioned university.
The second step of the project is to model, with intelligent techniques, the useful life of olive oil according to conservation conditions.
In this case, a prediction of the evolution of olive oil aging is made based on variables such as the type of oil, the packaging characteristics or the conservation conditions.
"In the end, we take into account the explicability of the models developed, determining the importance of the input or predictor variables in the quality of the oil in different conditions of use and storage", emphasizes Dolores Pérez, another of the study coordinators, which also has María José del Jesús, professor of Artificial Intelligence.
Although the research will be carried out until October 2024, it is already based on a standard model that is now being verified: "Experts tell us that refined sunflower oil can withstand up to 20 fryings, but in the case of sunflower oils, extra virgin olive oil that amount can even double”, says Rivera, who specifies, yes, that the uses will depend on the types of fats to be used and also on the foods that are to be fried.
Facilities of the Acesur oil company, in Vilches (Jaén), where experimentation with frying oil is carried out. University of Jaén
Flamenquines or potatoes
This estimate is generally reduced by gourmets who work with extra virgin olive oil (those of the highest quality).
In this case, they consider that the same oil can be used up to four or five times for frying, as long as the residues have been removed after each use and it has not burned, acquiring a dark colour.
"Obviously, it will get dirty sooner if we fry some flamenquines or croquettes (the breadcrumbs will leave residues) than some potatoes," they say from the Estepa Oil Denomination of Origin, whose regulatory council analyzes and protects the oil from 13 towns in Seville. and Córdoba, and which comes mainly from the hojiblanca variety.
Of course, there are other recommendations to take into account and which include not mixing extra virgin olive oil with other fats because they tolerate high temperatures less well and break down more quickly.
In addition, it is recommended not to cause
sudden changes in temperature and gradually frying the food, especially if it is frozen or very cold.
And, finally, they propose reusing the oil as long as it is not burned or altered, previously filtering (with a strainer) the sediments from the previous frying, to prevent them from burning and altering the oil.
The research is part of the Smart-O-Live project, which belongs to the Missions, Science and Innovation program of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and the State Program to Catalyze Innovation and Business Leadership of the Center for Industrial Technological Development ( CDTI).
The initiative has been made possible thanks to a transfer contract signed between the University of Jaén, the Citoliva Foundation and the company Acesur, a world reference olive oil company that packs 20% of the olive oil sold from its plants in the province of Jaén Worldwide.
Olive oil is also the central element of the Chair of Mediterranean Gastronomy at the University of Córdoba (UCO), which has been set up in collaboration with the entities DO Aceite de Baena, the Bodegas Campos Foundation and the DOP Azafrán de La Stain.
"The chair was born with the intention of promoting the Mediterranean lifestyle through gastronomy," says Javier Alcalá de la Moneda, from the Regulatory Council of the DO Baena Oil.
Alcalá de la Moneda highlights the high level of academicization of olive oil in recent years, something, he emphasizes, "backed by scientific studies that support the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and olive oil."
The origins of the chair, officially founded in 2009, date back to the UCO Gastronomic Culture Classroom in the early 1990s.
Since then, they have carried out numerous transfer activities -the last three within the framework of the Galileo Innovation and Transfer Plan-, scientific articles on gastronomic sciences and others of a teaching nature, such as the creation of the Interuniversity Master's Degree in Gastronomic Sciences together with the University of Grenade.
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