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Cooking oil is plant, animal, or synthetic fat used in frying, baking, and other types of cooking. It is also used in food preparation and flavouring not involving heat, such as salad dressings and bread dippings like bread dips, and may be called edible oil.

Cooking oil is typically a liquid at room temperature, although some oils that contain saturated fat, such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil are solid.[1]

There is a wide variety of cooking oils from plant sources such as olive oil, palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil (rapeseed oil), corn oil, peanut oil and other vegetable oils, as well as animal-based oils like butter and lard.

Oil can be flavored with aromatic foodstuffs such as herbs, chillies or garlic.

Cooking oil can be recycled. It can be used as animal feed, directly as fuel, and to produce biodiesel,[105] soap, and other industrial products.

In the recycling industry, used cooking oil recov

Because of this, cooking oil should never be dumped in the kitchen sink or in the toilet bowl. The proper way to dispose of oil is to put it in a sealed non-recyclable container and discard it with regular garbage.[104] Placing the container of oil in the refrigerator to harden also makes disposal easier and less messy.

Cooking oil can be recycled. It can be used as animal feed, directly as fuel, and to produce biodiesel,[105] soap, and other industrial products.

In the recycling industry, used cooking oil recovered from restaurants and food-processing industries (typically from deep fryers or griddles) is called recycled vegetable oil (RVO), used vegetable oil (UVO), waste vegetable oil (WVO), or yellow grease.deep fryers or griddles) is called recycled vegetable oil (RVO), used vegetable oil (UVO), waste vegetable oil (WVO), or yellow grease.[106]

Yellow grease is used to feed livestock, and to make soap, make-up, clothes, rubber, detergents, and biodiesel fuel.[107][108]

Used cooking oil, besides being converted to biodiesel, can be used directly in modified diesel engines and for heating.

Grease traps or interceptors collect fats and oils from kitchen sinks and floor drains which would otherwise clog sewer lines and interfere with septic systems and sewage treatment. The collected product is called brown grease in the recycling industry.[106] Brown grease is contaminated with rotted food solids and considered unsuitable for re-use in most applications.

Gutter oil and trench oil are terms used in China to describe recycled oil processed to resemble virgin oil, but containing toxic contaminants and sold illegally for cooking; its origin is frequently brown grease from garbage.[109]

In Kenya, thieves sell stolen electric transformers to operators of roadside food stalls for reuse of the oil in Kenya, thieves sell stolen electric transformers to operators of roadside food stalls for reuse of the oil in deep frying, suitable for prolonged use longer than regular cooking oil, but a threat to consumer health due to the presence of PCBs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.[110]