Famous British chef Jamie Oliver states that Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and specifically Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil, is ideal for frying.
Jamie Oliver wrote in his blog a very interesting blogspot on the benefits of frying with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and declared that it is not only the best frying oil but that, contrary to popular belief, it is good for the health.
When the oil is heated at a very high temperature its chemical composition is altered. This alteration takes place much faster with seed oils than with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as the chemical composition of Extra Virgin Olive Oil does not undergo substantial changes when heated because of its content of antioxidants and oleic acid.
The higher the content of natural antioxidants (polyphenols and vitamin E) and oleic acid, properties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the better and, of course, healthier will be the frying process. The Picual variety has the highest content of oleic acid, which makes it perfect for the fryer.
Another advantage of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is that it increases its volume when exposed to a high temperature, thus resulting in economic savings because less quantity is needed than when frying with vegetable oils. In addition, food fried with Extra Virgin Olive Oil does not absorb as much oil and is therefore tastier and lighter, as the crunchy crust formed around the food prevents it from absorbing oil.