One debate for food manufactures is whether or not they should use pomace olive oil. This oil is a great fit for some, but it's not for everyone.
Looking at a different sector, let's pretend you are home chef and looking for oils to use in your kitchen. You may have heard of pomace olive oil as a cheaper option in comparison to other oil types; so is it a good or bad choice?
There is tons of information out there, whether you're a home chef or if you are a food manufacturer. Today,our goal is to try and lay out some objective clarity and then allow you to make your own path.
Disadvantages of Pomace Olive Oil For Home Chefs
It's Solvent Extracted
The number one reason why a chef or home cook wouldn't want to use pomace olive oil is because it's a solvent extracted oil. If you are wanting to learn more about how it's made read the following article How Olive Pomace Oil Is Made.
It does have a few other disadvantages for home chefs, which I detail below.
Pomace doesn't have all health benefits as eVOO
Pomace oil misses out on some of the unique disease-fighting health benefits that are only available in extra virgin. These benefits are unique to the high quality EVOO or at least found in the highest levels of EVOO.
When it comes to the terms of health benefits found in olive oil, extra virgin has far more of the good stuff than the lower grades. When it comes to oils such as pure, pomace, and refined olive oil are going to have less of the unique healthy-for-you components.
What does this mean? Let's break it down. if you use pomace you are missing out on healthy polyphenols, sterols and squalene that are found in EVOO. However, you are still getting the good benefits of a healthier monounsaturated fat found in all olive oils.
What are they? Polyphenols are a key component to extra virgin olive oil, and are considered to be one of the best health benefits. Polyphenols furnish the immune system protect us from things such as heart diseases and display anticancer activity as they act as free radicals traps. They protect the olive oil from oxidative damage and they contribute to its superior oxidative stability among other edible oils. They also can affect its taste, giving it a distinctive bitter flavor.
Sterols in EVOO are known to decrease the blood cholesterol levels and help inhibit cholesterol absorption in the small intestine. Sterols have been also shown to act as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-ulcerative, and anti-oxidant.
A believed component to prevent certain cancers and is beneficial for patients with diabetes and heart disease. Olive oil has the largest concentration of squalene compared to other grades of oil.
Lacks fresh strong flavor that extra virgin has
If you are using extra virgin olive oil in your food, your flavor profile may come in part from the fresh and strong EVOO taste. You will not find this same flavor when switching to pomace oil.
Extra Virgin has a strong flavor that depends on olive varietal, it will typically taste buttery or peppery and extremely fresh. It should always have a distinct and delicious flavor. It will always have a distinct and delicious flavor. Pomace oil is going to taste very bland because it is a refined oil like a canola sunflower, or safflower oil would.
If you like have delicious flavors you would get from EVOO for your food, don't expect that pomace will have the same results. You will want to stick with EVOO.
What Should You Use In Your Home Kitchen?
When reading this you may be thinking, Well, what should I use in my kitchen then? I typically will use a high grade of organic, expeller pressed oils in my home. The reason for this is because I want to put high quality organic stuff in the bodies of those in my home as much as possible.
This means I personally am not using pomace olive oil in my home... but may people do use it at home and nothing against those that choose to.
With that being said, I hear lots of poo-pooing of pomace olive oil from people who are still using conventional canola and soybean oil without realizing the hypocrisy. This lacks a greater understanding of all oils, as well as the fat make-up of those oils. For example, if canola oil doesn't explicitly say expeller pressed, organic, or cold-pressed on the label it is also a solvent expelled oil. This is the most common way that all oils are produced around the world today. In fact, 90+% of the canola oil on the market is conventional hexane-produced.
Keep in mind that if you have conventional soybean or canola oil in your home, then olive pomace oil is no different. It at least is made up of the healthy monounsaturated fats that are found in olive oils. So it's actually a significant step up.
Pomace Olive Oil Disadvantages for Manufacturers
It's Solvent Extracted
The main reason that manufacturers may not want to use pomace olive oil is the same as above: because it's a solvent extracted oil. This may not matter to all, but for those in the natural foods industry, or those that want high quality product probably won't appreciate this fact. In the natural food industry, your target market is looking for the healthiest ingredients possible, and expeller pressed non-gmo oils are a hot topic right now.
If you are creating a new product line or you are in the conventional food industry, you can consider pomace olive oil instead of conventional (RBD) Canola or Soybean Oil. It's definitely a step up!
Product representation of the highest quality
For manufacturers who pick all of their ingredients by selecting the highest quality options, pomace olive oil will not be a good fit. There is no way to debate this point sadly. The reason it won't ever be a good fit is because it is the lowest grade of olive oil available.
Product depends on the taste of eVOO
We don't think you should change anything if your finished product gets it's perfect flavor profile by having that hint of flavor from EVOO.
Pomace oil is a refined oil which means it has less color and less flavor and won't bring as much to your product. If your recipes depends on that EVOO flavor, we don't suggest Pomace.
If the reason you are looking at Pomace is because you want to cut costs, we would suggest switching to a blend of some sort with another oil. It will still have a slightly milder flavor, but the taste of EVOO will still come through.
Want to learn more? Check out Olive Pomace Oil: The Ultimate Guide for a deep dive on everything Olive Pomace Oil.