The juice of olive leaves could make an effective antioxidant to help frying oils last longer, new research from Cairo University states. It works by reducing the production of peroxides in the oil, thereby slowing the oxidation of the oil and making it healthier to consume.
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What you need to know - Conventional View
• This is important news for those interested in using natural preservation as a way to slow down the oxidative deterioration of food in order to reduce the use of chemically synthesized preservatives.
• The Egyptian researchers found that the creation of peroxides in sunflower oil -- used as a natural frying oil -- were reduced with olive leaf juice.
• Olive leaf juice is created by pressing the leaves of olive trees.
• Olive leaves are rich in polyphenols, a class of natural chemicals found in plants that work as antioxidants, which can help combat heart disease and prevent free radical damage throughout the body.
• In a related topic, waste from composted olive oil has been found to be useful as a biofertilizer, as well as a biofilter for toxic metal removal, according to a 2007 study by the University of Thessaly in Greece.
• "One has to point out that the main goal of this work was to use a very cheap natural source as an antioxidant agent. It is of interest to note that olive leaves
used as a natural source for antioxidants in the present study are obtained by the annual pruning of olive plants," lead researcher Radwan Farag wrote in the study.
What you need to know - Alternative ViewStatements and opinions by Mike Adams, author of Grocery Warning: How to identify and avoid dangerous food ingredients
• Plant extracts are proving to be extremely useful for reducing oxidation in cooking oils and helping preserve foods for added shelf life.
• The only reason food companies continue to use synthetic chemicals for such purposes is because they are generally less expensive than plant-based extracts.
• The food industry has yet to admit to the toxicity of chemical food preservatives. Many chemicals added to foods today -- such as sodium nitrite -- are potent cancer-causing substances.
Resources you need to know
• The research was published in the January issue of the International Journal of Food Science and Technology and its summary is available at this link
Bottom lineThe use of olive leaves as a natural preservative acts as an effective and less expensive alternative to synthetic preservatives.
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