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July
25/07/2018

Virgin olive oil, perfect with broccoli

Wiki Spanish Food editorial team

Virgin olive oil does not have a negative impact on broccoli's healthy qualities when prepared in the frying pan or wok as it doesn't reduce its glucosinolates, vitamin C or minerals. Preparing it in this way is quick and doesn't require a high cooking temperature, according to a study by the Department of Food Science and Technology's Phytochemical Laboratory (CEBAS-CSIS), which collaborates actively with the association +Broccoli.

The study was carried out with other types of oil used in sautéeing in different parts of the world, among people who usually eat broccoli, such as refined olive oil and sunflower oil (Mediterranean countries), peanut oil and safflower oil (USA) and soy (Asia).

Moreover, sautéeing in a frying pan and a wok involve cooking for short periods of time (between 3 and 5 minutes) at a low temperature (between 125º and 130º), with resulting in broccoli with a pleasant texture (crunchy, not chewy), just like when it's steamed, which "maintains the vegetable's quality of flavor and health potential," according to Diego A. Moreno, a researcher with CEBAS-CSIS.

Boiled and fried, more aggressive methods

The effect of cooking on glucosinolates and vitamin C in broccoli (and in many vegetables) has been analyzed by scientists in recent decades since, depending on how it's prepared, it's possible to "slightly reduce or drastically eliminate their nutrients," according to Moreno.

These studies in recent years have determined that the most aggressive methods are traditional boiling (which lasts several minutes) and cooking it at high pressure, in the microwave, and frying it.  In contrast, steaming it and sautéeing it for a few minutes are the most efficient methods from a health standpoint.

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