The difference between a cooking oil and a finishing oil

A stroll down the aisle of some gourmet or ethnic markets will reveal an incredible number of culinary oils. Many are delicious but pricey. Some are great for cooking while others should probably never been heated. Confused? Here are the two basic edible oil categories.

Finishing oils (also called anointing oils)

Some oils break down when heated, losing their flavor and possibly even creating unhealthy free radicals. These so-called “condiment oils” may have a great flavor but many should not be used for high-heat cooking or baking. They can also be rather expensive. So consider drizzling them on food after it is cooked, or using them as dipping oils or in salad dressings. Some may have enough flavor to be used alone on your favorite salad.

Various gourmet and flavor-infused oils may fall into this category, including those made from truffles, almonds, lemons, pine nuts/pine seeds, pistachios, poppy seeds, walnuts and wheat germ.

Cooking oils

Carotino Red Palm & Canola oil is an example of cooking oil, which requires that an oil has a high smoke point so that it will retain its nutrients and won’t become rancid or bitter when exposed to heat. Carotino is one of the most nutritious, all-purpose cooking oils available because it contains high levels of vitamin E tocotrienols, beta carotene and other antioxidants while also having a neutral effect on cholesterol.