Article adapted from Olive Oil Times
A new study carried out by the University of Granada revealed that frying vegetables typical to the Mediterranean diet in EVOO, as opposed to boiling, is a much better method of cooking in terms of nutrient value.
There has been much debate on the pros and cons of different cooking methods for vegetables and how certain cooking techniques affect phenolic compounds.
This latest study aimed to put domestic cooking techniques to the test and determine how they affect or enhance the antioxidant qualities as well as the quantities of phenolic compounds found in a Spanish Mediterranean diet which typically contains high volumes of potato, pumpkin, eggplant and tomato.
The Mediterranean diet in Spain is also characterized by high consumption of EVOO which, alongside vegetables, are sources of certain compounds that have been linked to the prevention of chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes and macular degeneration, a condition that causes blindness.
During the study three cooking methods were employed; 120 gram cubes of the vegetables were fried in EVOO, or boiled in water, or boiled in a mix of water and EVOO.
All tests were carried out under controls with close analysis of the cooking methods and storage of the vegetables in optimum conditions so as to accurately measure factors like moisture, fat, dry matter, phenol content and antioxidant capacity, said the university.
In what they described as a “breakthrough in food science,” the researchers found frying in EVOO produced higher levels of natural phenols.