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The year 2020 has been an eye opener in many ways. Not only did it lead to introspection in general, it also changed quite eating habits, fitness and cooking styles.
Cooking food is no longer a scheduled task just about cooking and eating, there is awareness, conscience awakening and science attached to it today. Right from raw vegetables, meat and even the oils that are used, consumers today have questions about what they are consuming, the source of raw materials, the formulation and production.
Oil is an essential ingredient used in Indian cooking be it for frying, stir frying, shallow frying, pan frying, grilling, barbequing, baking, kneadinge there isn’t a component of cooking where oil doesn’t feature, even if it means a slight drizzle. It’s where it all starts and ends.
For generations, the traditional mindset in using a particular kind and brand of oil has had a very ehand me down’ approach, something has been followed ritualistically until recently. Sunflower and Groundnut oil have constituted as majority in the cooking oil segment followed closely by Mustard oil.
Today, there are a variety of cooking oils available in the Indian market and thanks to exposure to international standards and a whole new category of olive oils. Indian consumers are spoilt for choice but are they making the right one? How does one know the oil they’ve been using isn’t doing more harm than benefitting? While there have been a few constants that have proven to be ideal choices for the palate and health, there are others whose properties are second to none but haven’t gained wide spread popularity. One such variant is Olive Pomace oil.
Olive oil actually comes in a number of forms, colour, taste, and acidity level along with three variants: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Refined Olive Oil and Olive Pomace Oil.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is a cold pressed olive oil with acidity below 0.3 percent. Owing to its aroma and flavour, it is suitable for making salads, dressings, flavourings or condiments for salads, pastas, rice, vegetables, meat and fish. It is also rich in anti-oxidants when eaten in raw / cold form. However, it may not the right choice for typical Indian e high temperature – cooking.
Olive Pomace oil is, however, the right olive oil for Indian cooking. Because of its extraction process, Olive Pomace oil is stable at high temperatures and contains higher Tocopherol and Squalene than even extra virgin olive oil. Tocopherol and Squalene are forms of Vitamin E which have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties for the body and is great for skin. Other properties such as its fatty acid profile (eg. mono-unsaturated fatty acid) are the same as that jar of extra virgin olive oil that graces the aisle at the supermarket. In fact, it has the same composition as extra virgin olive oil. What’s more, it is completely neutral in taste, therefore, making Olive Pomace oil liquid gold for healthy Indian Cooking.
Olive Pomace Oil is the perfect companion for desi food. It is a light oil with a neutral taste and flavour. Indian food encompasses a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines and they all vary significantly from each other. Olive Pomace Oil can be used for all Indian cooking and the taste is quite incredible.
While we face the second wave of the pandemic, it’s prudent to stay fit, eat right and follow a healthy lifestyle. The choice of cooking oil plays a major part in this. Choosing an oil that has necessary fats and zero cholesterol that are helpful for weight loss and maintaining a low-calorie diet is what one needs today. Olive Pomace oil is 80 percent monosaturated that can lower the cholesterol level. Monosaturated fats are healthy fats with fatty acid profile (high MUFA) like other Olive Oils found in olive oil, avocados and certain nuts. Olive Pomace oil also brings the additional benefit of Vitamin E for better immunity and tissue repair with Vitamin K for better bone density and health.
It is a light, neutral in taste and healthier option than other edible oils, and is stable at high temperatures. This helps beat the myth that Olive oil is not good for Indian cooking. What’s more, the great thing about Olive Pomace oil is that since it is absorbed less by food, it is great for healthy cooking and affordable at the same time, as it will be consumed less.
Apart from uses in kitchen, Olive Pomace oil can be used to treat skin problems and hair problems by using a little bit of it on the damaged scalp to treat dryness. Similarly, one can also use it in the bath to rejuvenate dry skin.
Olive Pomace oil is cost effective in comparison to the other grades of olive oil but when compared to the cost of regular soya bean, sunflower or the peanut oil, it is priced at premium.
So, the next time you go for grocery shopping, take a leap of faith and grab that can of Olive Pomace oileit’s a health decision that’s much overdue!
(Akshay Modi, Joint Managing Director, Modi Naturals)