Smoke points follow the impurities in the oil. A virgin oil will have a much lower smoke point than a refined oil. Example: expeller-pressed coconut oil has a very high smoke point, but virgin coconut oil has a very low smoke point. Same thing goes with olive oil. From the list you posted:
Originally Posted by JoanieL
Olive oil Extra virgin 375°F
Olive oil Virgin 391°F
Olive oil Pomace 460°F
Olive oil Extra light 468°F
The more purified the oil, the more resistant it is to smoking. However, in terms of oxidation, the polyphenols in the virgin oils are antioxidants. The more you refine it down, the more antioxidants you lose and the more damaged the oil becomes with heat. Extra virgin olive oil will smoke almost 100 degrees before extra light, but it is far more oxidation resistant.
Consider this: distilled water DOES NOT BOIL. You can heat it up to 300 degrees and it'll just sit there. Then, throw one drop of tap water in it AND IT WILL EXPLODE. That is because you are introducing impurities into the mix, which allows the boiling. FYI - never do this, you will potentially create severe burns from a massive explosion.
I don't really think it has much to do with the fat itself. The polyunsaturated oils tend to have higher smoke points because they tend to be more refined. When do you see virgin, cold-pressed soybean oil? I've never seen it, but good quality olive oil and coconut oil are everywhere. Refined olive oil is just a smoke-resistant as refined soybean oil, but it'll be more oxidation-resistant thanks to the much lower PUFA content. Out of the two, which would I buy? Neither.
Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 10-01-2013 at 08:39 AM.
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