Oregano-flavoured crisps healthier

With its antioxidant properties, addition of oregano to frying oil makes crisps healthier.

Cottonseed oil containing oregano oxidizes less during frying, leaving crisps with fewer free radicals and greater stability through storage periods. The recent study is published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Diets high in fat are known to produce harmful free radicals, molecules that damage cells within the body. Build-up of these free radicals can result in serious – and even fatal – diseases like heart disease and cancer. But antioxidants can help destroy and eliminate free radicals from the system.

In this study, the addition of oregano to frying oil resulted in a decrease in the number of chemical reactions that produce free radicals. The oregano also had a protective effect during storage, with the crisps deteriorating (undergoing oxidation) at a significantly slower rate.

“Oregano has multivariable benefits in frying oils,” says Vasso Oreopoulou, co-author of the study, “it restricts the deterioration of dietary essential lipid ingredients and the formation of harmful free radicals. In addition, the flavonoids and other antioxidant components of oregano have antimicrobial, antithrombotic, antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic benefits within the human body.”

The benefits of antioxidants as part of a healthy diet have been known for some time, and nutrition experts recommend various natural sources such as broccoli, sweet potatoes and spinach. The discovery of versatile substances such as herbs and spices that have antioxidant effects allows for other foods to be enriched with the substance and made “healthier”.

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