Vegetable oils, or vegetable fats, are oils extracted from seeds or from other parts of fruits.
Vegetable oil is a type of oil that is extracted from plants, typically from the seeds or fruits of various plants.
It is commonly used in cooking and baking because of its mild flavor and high smoke point.
Vegetable oil can withstand high temperatures without breaking down or producing harmful fumes.
Vegetable oil is also used in various food processing industries for frying, salad dressings, and as an ingredient in baked goods.
It can be derived from different plant sources such as soybeans, canola, corn, sunflower seeds, and olives.
Some types of vegetable oil, like olive oil or coconut oil, have additional health benefits due to their composition of essential fatty acids.
Like animal fats, vegetable fats are mixtures of triglycerides.
Soybean oil, grape seed oil, and cocoa butter are examples of seed oils, or fats from seeds.
Olive oil, palm oil, and rice bran oil are examples of fats from other parts of fruits.
In common usage, vegetable oil may refer exclusively to vegetable fats which are liquid at room temperature.
Vegetable oils are usually edible.
Vegetable oils have been used for lighting fuel for lamps, cooking, medicine and lubrication.
Palm oil formed the basis of soap products.
Soybean oil had become the most popular vegetable oil in the US; today it is second only to palm oil.
Vegetable oil can be used as a fuel in diesel engines and in heating oil burners.
Canola, a rapeseed cultivar, oil is lower in saturated fats, and higher in monounsaturates.
Canola is very thin and flavorless so it largely succeeds by displacing soy oil, just as soy oil largely succeeded by displacing cottonseed oil.
Many vegetable oils are consumed directly, or indirectly as ingredients in food – a role that they share with some animal fats, including butter, ghee, lard, and schmaltz.
The oils serve a number of purposes in this role:
Shortening – as in giving pastries a crumbly texture.
Enriching – adding calories and satisfaction in consumption
Texture – altering how ingredients combine, especially fats and starches
Flavoring – examples include olive, sesame, or almond oil
Flavor base – oils can also carry flavors of other ingredients, such as peppers, since many flavors are due to chemicals that are soluble in oil.
Oils can be heated to temperatures significantly higher than the boiling point of water, 100 °C (212 °F), and used to fry foods.
Such oils include both the major cooking oils – soybean, rapeseed, canola, sunflower, safflower, peanut, cottonseed, and tropical oils, such as coconut, palm, and rice bran.
Many vegetable oils are used to make soaps, skin products, candles, perfumes and other personal care cosmetic products, drying oils, and are used in making paints and other wood treatment products.
Vegetable oils are used in the electrical industry as insulators.
Vegetable oils are not toxic to the environment, biodegradable if spilled and have high flash and fire points.
However, vegetable oils are less stable chemically, so they are generally used in systems where they are not exposed to oxygen.
Vegetable oil is being used to produce biodegradable hydraulic fluid and lubricant.
A limiting factor in industrial uses of vegetable oils is that all such oils are susceptible to becoming rancid.
Vegetable oils can be used as conventional diesel fuel.
The use of vegetable oils as alternative energy is growing and the availability of biodiesel around the world is increasing.
It is estimated that the total net greenhouse gas savings when using vegetable oils in place of fossil fuel-based alternatives for fuel production, range from 18 to 100%.
The production of vegetable oil involves the removal of oil from plant components, typically seeds, by mechanical extraction using an oil mill or chemical extraction using a solvent.
Unsaturated vegetable oils can be transformed by partial or complete hydrogenation into oils of higher melting point.
Some hydrogenated vegetable oils as vegetable shortening, will remain solid at room temperature.
Hydrogenating vegetable oil causes the carbon atoms of the oil to break double-bonds with other carbons.
Each carbon atom becomes single-bonded to an individual hydrogen atom, and the double bond between carbons can no longer exist.
A fully hydrogenated oil, also called a saturated fat, has had all of its double bonds converted into single bonds.
If a polyunsaturated oil is left incompletely hydrogenated then it is a partially hydrogenated oil.
Oil may be hydrogenated to increase resistance to rancidity, oxidation, or to change its physical characteristics.
As the degree of saturation is raised by full or partial hydrogenation, the oil’s viscosity and melting point increase.
Full hydrogenation produces largely saturated fatty acids.
Partial hydrogenation results in the transformation of unsaturated cis fatty acids to unsaturated trans fatty acids.
Partially hydrogenated oils and their trans fats have been linked to an increased risk of mortality from coronary heart disease, leading to regulations removing of partially hydrogenated oils from food.
Nearly all soybean, corn, and canola oils go through a deodorization stage that removes trace amounts of odors and flavors, and lightens the color of the oil.
Deodorization, results in higher levels of trans fatty acids and distillation of the oil’s natural compounds.
Occupational exposure vegetable oil mist in the workplace legal limit is 15 mg/m3 total exposure and 5 mg/m3 respiratory exposure over an 8-hour workday.
Palm: The most widely produced tropical oil, also used to make biofuel
Soybean: One of the most widely consumed cooking oils
Rapeseed: One of the most widely used cooking oils, also used as fuel.
Canola is a variety of rapeseed.
Sunflower seed:A common cooking oil, also used to make biodiesel
Peanut Mild-flavored cooking oil
Cottonseed major food oil, often used in industrial food processing
Palm kernel From the seed of the African palm tree
Coconut Used in cooking, cosmetics and soaps
Olive Used in cooking, cosmetics, soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps
Corn oil, one of the most common cooking oils, is used for cooking oil, salad dressing, margarine, mayonnaise, prepared goods like spaghetti sauce and baking mixes, and to fry prepared foods like potato chips and French fries.
Grape seed oil, used in cooking and cosmetics
Hazelnut oil and other nut oils
Linseed oil, from flax seeds
Rice bran oil, from rice grains
Safflower oil, a flavorless and colorless cooking oil
Sesame oil, used as a cooking oil, and as a massage oil
Brazil nut oil, culinary and cosmetics use
Passion fruit oil, use in cosmetics manufacturing and for uses as a human or animal food.
Seed oils are vegetable oils obtained from the seed (endosperm) of some plants.
Most vegetable oils are seed oils: sunflower, corn, and sesame oils.
A large quantity of used vegetable oil is produced and recycled, mainly from industrial deep fryers in potato processing plants, snack food factories and fast food restaurants.
Recycled oil has numerous uses: direct fuel, as well as in the production of biodiesel, livestock feed, pet food, soap, detergent, cosmetics, and industrial chemicals.
Due to their susceptibility to oxidation from the exposure to oxygen, heat and light, resulting in the formation of oxidation products, such as peroxides and hydroperoxides, plant oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids have a limited shelf-life.