MadSci Network: Biochemistry

Re: Oils & Indigestion: What's proper handling of frying oils?

Date: Thu Aug 31 00:30:01 2000
Posted By: Robert LaBudde, Staff, Food science, Least Cost Formulations, Ltd.
Area of science: Biochemistry
ID: 967254648.Bc

You seem to have a strong reaction to a relatively small dose of 
indigestible fat! Olestra is no worse than a mineral oil laxative (1 Tbspn 
~ 13 g).

Although in "normal" individuals with adequate meal balance and good 
liver/gallbladder function fats are digested quite easily, it is not 
uncommon for people to have great difficulty with excess fats in the diet.

There are several possible reasons:

1. Liver disease or dysfunction (inadequate bile enzymes).
2. Gallbladder disease (which should be investigated in your case).
3. Genetic susceptibility.

Undigested food fats become "Olestra-like" in their laxative function.

When using oil for frying, it's important the oil be fresh and usually of 
a high flash point. Oils that are suitable are viscous at room 
temperature. Canola oil is very "thin" and has a low flash point. This 
kind of oil breaks down chemically fairly easily under heat. It then 
continues to break down auto-catalytically thereafter. This process is 
called "oxidative rancidity".

Franchise chains use antioxidant additives (e.g., BHA/BHT), high-
temperature fats (cottonseed oil, lard, tallow), close temperature 
control, and controlled recycling.

Although it's possible you have some type of chemical reaction to 
rancidity byproducts, it's much more likely your body has problems 
digesting excessive quantities of fats in any one meal. Make sure you 
don't have gallbladder or liver disease and avoid excessive intake of fats 
and fiber in meals.

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