The potential antioxidant power of basil essential oil under frying conditions was explored. Two concentrations (200 or 500 ppm) were added to palm olein (PO) to evaluate their effect on fat oxidation/degradation during repeated frying of French fries at 180 °C. A higher oxidative stability index was detected for PO with basil essential oil at 200 ppm. Both concentrations showed lower p-anisidine values than PO without basil essential oil after 5 d of frying. Addition at 500 ppm resulted in the lowest total polar compounds and free fatty acids contents. Thus, the addition of basil essential oil improved the performance of PO during repeated frying of French fries.
The successful results of the antioxidant power of basil essential oil shown in this study are useful for manufacturers of frying oils. Oils/fats for frying could be added with low concentrations of this natural essential oil in order to extend their use in restaurants and fast-food services, which produce large amounts of fried foods daily. Getting better characteristics in the frying medium, producers would optimize their operational time and costs.