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Researchers Have Developed Cooking Oil That Can Be Used 80 Times

It has antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and also "enhances crunchiness." Now let's make a huge-ass batch of fried chicken.
Hilary Pollack
Los Angeles, US
August 7, 2015, 9:00pm
Photo via Flickr user Lucas Richarz

Man, the fight over liquid gold just never seems to end. Turf wars. Theft. Corruption.

Are we talking about petrol? Louis XIV? Honey? Kim Kardashian's body fluids?

Nope, we're referring to (seemingly) lowly cooking oil, which has been the subject of numerous scandals in the past decade. Cooking oil theft has become even more common than shoplifting meat in your pants, as used cooking oil is used in the production of increasingly desirable biodiesel fuel.

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And then there was the Chinese gutter oil scandal of 2012 and the Taiwanese gutter oil scandal of 2014, wherein restaurants and street vendors were accused of collecting oil from dumpsters, gutters, and sewers and using it to cook food.

WATCH: Urban Beekeeping Is Liquid Gold

Well, any remaining gutter oil collectors might be S.O.L., because researchers have now come up with a new formula for cooking oil that will keep it out of garbage cans for much longer.

The good news: the oil, pioneered by a team at the University of Putra Malaysia, can be used 80 times before being thrown out, is 85 percent less absorbed by the food being cooked in it, and does not contribute as much to the risk of developing heart disease and cancer as conventional cooking oils. The secret is in the addition of extract of Rutaceae herb, which has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antihistamine properties. And—bonus—it also "enhances crunchiness" and flavor.

The bad news: the base of the new stuff is palm oil—which is not necessarily considered the most sustainable or socially responsible industry, in case you haven't heard.

READ: Boycotting Palm Oil Won't Do Any Good

But ADFHAL oil, as the product is called, can be added to any existing cooking oil in a small quantity to add the aforementioned benefits: just one big spoonful to half a cup of any conventional cooking oil does the trick.

AFDHAL stands for Antioxidant (natural edible herbs extract) Free (of trans-fats, synthetics, of cholesterol) Decrease (wastage, spoilage, and allergy) Have (health benefits) Anti (-oil absorbed in food) Lengthen (oil life and usage). But "Antioxidant Free Decrease Have Anti Lengthen" just doesn't have quite the same ring as duo-syllabic "AFDHAL," does it?

Now excuse us—we have 80 batches of chicken to fry.