So I am currently going to cooking school and I have to right a research paper on a topic of my choice. It doesn't have to be properly sourced but I obviously want it to be as accurate as possible. I was thinking about doing a comparison of different oils and fats. At the school they are big proponets of rice bran oil, and generally think whole grain vegetrarian is the healthiest way to eat.
I do think that rice oil is probably better than other vegtable oils, but not as good as the more saturated fats. They like it at the school because of its high smoke point, and you can deep fry with it more times before it starts to break down than with canola. The rice oil they use is cold filtered. From my understanding the reason that certain vegtable oils have high smoke points is because of how much they are refined. In the case of things like "cold filtered" rice oil, is there still refining going on? Would the reason for being able to fry with rice oil more times than canola be related to the saturated fat content or is it refined more?
im also curious if anyone has done a comparison of how many times you can reuse a fat like ghee or tallow to fry compared to something like canola or rice bran oil. I would assume the tallow would last longer, but i know from experience that duck fat breaks down fairly quickly, however it is higher in pufa.
asked bywhistlerski (232)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on November 18, 2014
at 11:36 AM
I did recently come across this:
Too bad they didn't include coconut, unrefined palm, lard and tallow in their study. The obvious "No shit" results as expected:
"Refined olive oil, as frying oil, was found to be more stable than the refined seed oils. In fact, this oil has proven the greatest resistance to oxidative deterioration, and its trans-fatty acid contents and percentages of total polar compounds were found to be lower at 160 °C during deep-frying. Finally, chemometric analysis has demonstrated that the lowest deterioration of the quality of all refined oils occurred in the refined olive oil during deep-frying at 160 °C and the highest deterioration occurred in the refined sunflower oil during pan-frying at 180 °C."
on November 17, 2014
at 03:49 PM
I'd like to point out that not all PUFAs are created equal. Paleos are quick to damn omega-6s as problematic, but they are in fact, less reactive than omega-3s! Let's just consider the EFAs, Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. The former is an omega-6 fat, the latter is an omega-3 fat. LA has 2 double bonds, ALA has 3 double bonds. It's the number of double bonds (and the number of methylenes between them) that determine their reactivity. ALA is significantly more reactive than LA… which is significantly more reactive the OA. Somebody might be able to find some numbers, but as a chemist, I would guess a factor of 100-10000 separating ALA/LA and LA/OA.
So in order of decreasing reactivity: ALA >> LA > OA > Saturates
So why are omega-6 rich oils, good for frying? Because their smoke points are higher, which has more to do with the fatty acid length, not it's unsaturation. That's why coconut oil has a low smoke point, why butter has a low smoke point, etc…
Ok, that's the chemistry of it all… what about nutrition? We need a little omega-3, a little more omega-6, and plenty of MUFA and some saturated fat. The paleo ratio is 1:1 omega-3 to omega-6, but that's really too low, unless you're consuming tons of PUFA daily. The less PUFA you consume, the less omega-3 you need. Saturates as much as paleo folks want to love them don't produce better health outcomes (arguably, health markers are worsen.) Fried foods in particularly are nothing but fats and carbs… a bolus of starch and saturated fat is a good way to destroy your health. A MUFA/starch bomb would be better in terms of healthfulness.
So… rice bran oil… high smoke point makes it good for cooking. Nutritionally, it's not great, but not bad. It's superior to lard/tallow/coconut oil for its smokepoint but inferior to them for its fat composition. It's on par with a number of other vegetable oils for smoke point, but somewhat better than other oils in terms of nutrition. A review of oils, their smoke points, composition and nutrition should make for an interesting paper, just don't get too hung up on paleo dogma.
on November 17, 2014
at 09:45 AM
Even organic, cold-pressed, seed, grain, and legume oils are naturally high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Our bodies need some of this; every cell membrane has some of it. But estimates for a healthy intake range from 4g—15g/day, and we must keep it in a proper ratio with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.Rice bran oil is about 25% O-6 fats, which seems high, especially if you're gobbling it in the amounts your instructors tell you to. When linoleic acid (LA; the major O-6 fatty acids in plants) is exposed to heat—as it inevitably is during food processing or cooking—harmful compounds called OXLAMs (Oxidized Linoleic Acid Metabolites) are formed. OXLAMs contribute to a process of cellular damage called “oxidative stress,” and are associated with a variety of infammatory diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to fibromyalgia to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). OXLAMs are a major component of atherosclerotic plaques and play a central role in the development of heart disease.
Try arguing that lard's a great fat for cooking! Its smoke point is 410F, which is all you need for most deep frying, and I re-use it 6 times before replacing it. I've got more details in my blog post "Why I cook with lard."
If they give you an "F" for your temerity, ask these so-called vegetarians (most of whom eat meat) how they deal with the OXLAMs formed by heating the rice bran oil. Then ask them how they're getting their vit. A, D, E, and K, and how they expect to get it to its destination without adequate fat as a solubilizing carrier. Then ask them how they're getting their stearic, palmitic, and myristic fatty acids, since plants don't have them in any appreciable amounts (see this chart).
Then ask them how they prevent calcium from building up in their arteries, since they need vit. K (a fat-soluble vitamin) to mobilize it and guide it to the bones. And since I'm on the topic of bones, ask them how they're getting the gelatin, chondroitin sulfate, and glycosaminoglycans needed for basic bone structure, since you can get those only from long-simmered animal bone broth with the feet in the mix.
After you get expelled, you can start your own damn culinary institute.
on November 17, 2014
at 04:59 AM
Interesting dilemma. Best to be supportive about the rice oil if you want good marks.
I use and reuse refined olive oil for hot frying seafood like oysters and clams. As it depletes I add more, but I don't get so hot that it discolors. Rice oil could be an alternative though it costs twice as much as the olive oil.
I fry in duck fat when I have it, but that stuff is really precious. I only have it when I render a duck carcass stripped of the quarters and the breast. I get enough fat for pan frying but that's about it.
on November 17, 2014
at 01:42 PM
High-oleic safflower oil, smoke point 510 F and almost no PUFAs (high in oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fatty acid that makes up olive oil and avocado oil).
That's 60 F higher than that piece-of-garbage rice bran oil and a million time healthier. Pretty cheap too. It's vegan as well.