Which seed oil should I use?
Three criteria should guide the seed oil consumer:
1. taste of the oil
2. use of the oil and
3. health concerns.
On taste, there are as many opinions as there are users. At Kore, we believe that properly refined soyabean oil, produced from freshly crushed soyabeans, yields delicious, “light” oil with an ever so slight walnut taste. On the other hand, sunflower oil is by far the most popular seed oil in Greece as witnessed by our Sanola brand, whilst corn oil, with its darker colour and characteristic taste, has a strong following in many countries of South Europe and the Middle East.
In Kore’s opinion, the above seed oils can be used indiscriminately for most cooking applications, even for such demanding processes like frying as long as the frying temperature is kept below 170 C. For prolonged deep frying applications at temperatures above 170 C, corn oil has the edge.
At Kore we believe that too much marketing has crept into the debate on the relative healthiness of refined seed oils. The truth is that in our cooking culture we prefer to consume our seed oils refined. The refining process strips the oil of its acidity, its often “unpleasant” taste and strong odour, its impurities. As a side effect, the refining process also strips the seed oil of its minerals, vitamins and other micro-ingredients, many of which are potent anti-oxidants with proven health benefits. Only in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is not subjected to a refining process, are all these essential components fully preserved, which goes some way in justifying the health claims around Extra Virgin Olive Oil.