María Victoria Ruiz Méndez, researcher at the CSIC Fat Institute. She collaborated in the study on the behavior of pomace oil in frying and is currently leading two others on this lipid. Photograph provided by the Interprofessional del Aceite de Poma de Oliva,
To talk about olive pomace oil, the first thing we need to know is what it is and where it comes from. It is a lipid, an edible vegetable oil that comes from the olive grove, so after olive oil in any of its varieties (olive oil, virgin olive oil, and extra virgin olive oil), it could be said that the second healthiest on the market.
But, if like olive oils, it comes from olives, what is the difference? Well, despite being made from the same raw material, the part of this that is used is not.
While for the production of olive oil (remember, in any of its three varieties), what is used is the olive juice -which represents 20% of it-, for the pomace oil the alperujo is used, the remaining 80%, made up of water, skin, bone and the remains that remain after being squeezed.
A first fact to keep in mind is that fats are important to maintain the state of health. Indeed, the World Organization for Health (WHO) recommends that the daily caloric intake be distributed among the main nutrients in the following percentage:
- Carbohydrates: between 55 and 75%.
- Proteins: between 10 and 15%.
- Fats: between 15 and 30%.
What other uses does pomace oil have?
One thing that should be made clear is that olive pomace oil is not a substitute for virgin or extra virgin olive oil. That is, it has the same uses as those of any vegetable oil and, although it is true that its properties are exceptional for sauces, stir-fries, stews, pastries and fried foods, for those preparations in which the oil is part of the richness of the dish. Like the dressings, it is preferable to use virgin or extra virgin.
The reason? The flavors, smells and even the nuances of color, which are unique in the oils that have these “surnames”.
“No refined oil should smell or taste like anything. And although pomace oil, like refined olive oil, has a small amount of virgin oil added, which gives it a little more aroma, its flavor is quite flat ”, explains the researcher.
Protection against Alzheimer's disease
According to other research carried out by the Instituto de la Grasa of the CSIC, the bioactive compounds in olive pomace oil could also have a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease.