In the two official research studies developed by CITOLIVA, the organisation’s tasters and technicians revealed the superiority of EVOO compared to “high oleic” sunflower oil in different areas concerning the deep-frying process of two types of food: natural peeled potatoes and pre-cooked frozen mini-croquettes. As for the sensory aspects of the fried croquettes, the tasters found that the croquettes fried with Extra Virgin Olive Oil either “tasted better” or were “crunchier” than the croquettes fried in high oleic sunflower oil.
Another important difference was the smell of the fried food. Tasters found a difference in all the tested fried food: “both croquettes smell like fried food, but the connotations are different”, they stated. At this point, it is worth noting that during the first frying cycle the croquettes fried in “high oleic” sunflower oil presented a “rancid/refined and even unpleasant smell”, which could denote a fast degradation after the first heating cycle due to the decomposition of fatty acids and the formation of volatile compounds, responsible for the unpleasant smell.
On the other hand, with regard to the economic performance determined by the formation of polar compounds (resulting from the degradation of oil during the frying process) the two research studies developed by CITOLIVA confirmed that the content of polar compounds found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil was inferior to the content found in “high oleic” Sunflower Oil. Therefore, the “Study of the Comparative Performance of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the deep-fryer compared to high oleic Sunflower Oil” recognised in its conclusion the higher performance of MONTABES EVOO and indicated that “once it reached the 30th frying cycle, the index of polar compounds measured in high oleic Sunflower Oil was 21.4% higher than the one in Extra Virgin Olive Oil”.
The studies carried out by CITOLIVA were developed in parallel to MONVA’s “Frying Plan” initiative, conceived to test and compare, in the hotel and restaurant industry, the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and refined oils, especially high oleic Sunflower Oil, widely used in professional deep-fryers. Hospitality establishments from all over the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands participated in the course of a year in the “Frying Plan” experience, an initiative in constant development and still taking place that compares the performance of MONTABES EVOO with the oil normally used by the establishments in the deep-fryer. Even though it lacks the scientific accuracy of CITOLIVA’s study, the experience led to conclusions favourable to Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as the average monthly savings of frying oil were of 25.4%. In addition, all the hospitality establishments that took part in the initiative during this first year observed a clear improvement in the quality of the food fried with MONTABES Extra Vir gn Olive Oil.