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Vegetable oils, or vegetable fats, are oils extracted from seeds, or less often, from other parts of fruits. Like animal fats, vegetable fats are mixtures of triglycerides.[1] Soybean oil, grape seed oil, and cocoa butter are examples of 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.[2][3] Vegetable oils are usually edible; non-edible oils derived mainly from petroleum are termed mineral oils.

Uses of triglyceride vegetable oil

Uses in antiquity

Oils extracted from plants have been used since ancient times and in many cultures. As an example, in a 4,000-year-old kitchen unearthed in Indiana's Charlestown State Park, archaeologist Bob McCullough of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne found evidence that large slabs of rock were used to crush hickory nuts and the oil was then extracted with boiling water.[4] Archaeological evidence shows that olives were turned into olive oil by 6000 BCE[5] and 4500 BCE in present-day Israel and Palestine.[6]

In addition to use as food, fats and oils (both vegetable and mineral) have long been used as fuel, typically in lamps which were a principal source of illumination in ancient times. Oils may have been used for lubrication, but there is no evidence for this. Vegetable oils were probably more valuable as food and lamp-oil; Babylonian mineral oil was known to be used as fuel, but there are no references to lubrication. Pliny the Elder reported that fats such as lard were used to lubricate the axles of carts.[7]

Culinary uses

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 – to give pastry a crumbly texture.
  • Texture – oils can serve to make other ingredients stick together less.
  • Flavor – while less flavorful oils command premium prices, some oils, such as olive, sesame, or almond oil, may be chosen specifically for the flavor they impart.
  • Flavor base – oils can also "carry" flavors of other ingredients, 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 cook foods (frying). Oils for this purpose must have a high flash point. Such oils include the major cooking oils – soybean, rapeseed, canola, sunflower, safflower, peanut, cottonseed, etc. Tropical oils, such as coconut, palm, and rice bran oils, are particularly valued in Asian cultures for high-temperature cooking, because of their unusually high flash points.

Hydrogenated oils

Unsaturated vegetable oils can be transformed through partial or complete "hydrogenation" into oils of higher melting point. The hydrogenation process involves "sparging" the oil at high temperature and pressure with hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst, typically a powdered nickel compound. As each carbon-carbon double-bond is chemically reduced to a single bond, two hydrogen atoms e

Oils extracted from plants have been used since ancient times and in many cultures. As an example, in a 4,000-year-old kitchen unearthed in Indiana's Charlestown State Park, archaeologist Bob McCullough of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne found evidence that large slabs of rock were used to crush hickory nuts and the oil was then extracted with boiling water.[4] Archaeological evidence shows that olives were turned into olive oil by 6000 BCE[5] and 4500 BCE in present-day Israel and Palestine.[6]

In addition to use as food, fats and oils (both vegetable and mineral) have long been used as fuel, typically in lamps which were a principal source of illumination in ancient times. Oils may have been used for lubrication, but there is no evidence for this. Vegetable oils were probably more valuable as food and lamp-oil; Babylonian mineral oil was known to be used as fuel, but there are no references to lubrication. Pliny the Elder reported that fats such as lard were used to lubricate the axles of carts.[7]

Culinary uses

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 – to give pastry a crumbly texture.
  • Texture – oils can serve to make other ingredients stick together less.
  • Flavor – while less flavorful oils command premium prices, some oils, such as olive, sesame, or almond oil, may be chosen specifically for the flavor they impart.
  • Flavor base – oils can also "carry" flavors of other ingredients, 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 cook foods (frying). Oils for this purpose must have a high flash point. Such oils include the major cooking oils – soybean, rapeseed, canola, sunflower, safflower, peanut, cottonseed, etc. Tropical oils, such as coconut, palm, and rice bran oils, are particularly valued in Asian cultures for high-temperature cooking, because of their unusually high flash points.

Hydrogenated oils

Unsaturated vegetable oils can be transformed through partial or complete "hydrogenation" into oils of higher melting point. The hydrogenation process involves "sparging" the oil at high temperature and pressure with hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst, typically a powdered nickel compound. As each carbon-carbon double-bond is chemically reduced to a single bond, two hydrogen atoms each form single bonds with the two carbon atoms. The elimination of double bonds by add

In addition to use as food, fats and oils (both vegetable and mineral) have long been used as fuel, typically in lamps which were a principal source of illumination in ancient times. Oils may have been used for lubrication, but there is no evidence for this. Vegetable oils were probably more valuable as food and lamp-oil; Babylonian mineral oil was known to be used as fuel, but there are no references to lubrication. Pliny the Elder reported that fats such as lard were used to lubricate the axles of carts.[7]

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 – to give pastry a crumbly texture.
  • Texture – oils can serve to make other ingredients stick together less.
  • Flavor – while less flavorful oils command premium prices, some oils, such as olive, sesame, or frying). Oils for this purpose must have a high flash point. Such oils include the major cooking oils – soybean, rapeseed, canola, sunflower, safflower, peanut, cottonseed, etc. Tropical oils, such as coconut, palm, and rice bran oils, are particularly valued in Asian cultures for high-temperature cooking, because of their unusually high flash points.

    Hydrogenated oils

    Unsaturated vegetable oils can be transformed through partial or complete "hydrogenation" into oils of higher melting point. The hydrogenation process involves "sparging" the oil at high temperature and pressure with Unsaturated vegetable oils can be transformed through partial or complete "hydrogenation" into oils of higher melting point. The hydrogenation process involves "sparging" the oil at high temperature and pressure with hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst, typically a powdered nickel compound. As each carbon-carbon double-bond is chemically reduced to a single bond, two hydrogen atoms each form single bonds with the two carbon atoms. The elimination of double bonds by adding hydrogen atoms is called saturation; as the degree of saturation increases, the oil progresses toward being fully hydrogenated. An oil may be hydrogenated to increase resistance to rancidity (oxidation) or to change its physical characteristics. As the degree of saturation increases, the oil's viscosity and melting point increase.

    The use of hydrogenated oils in foods has never been completely satisfactory. Because the center arm of the triglyceride is shielded somewhat by the end fatty acids, most of the hydrogenation occurs on the end fatty acids, thus making the resulting fat more brittle.The use of hydrogenated oils in foods has never been completely satisfactory. Because the center arm of the triglyceride is shielded somewhat by the end fatty acids, most of the hydrogenation occurs on the end fatty acids, thus making the resulting fat more brittle.[citation needed] A margarine made from naturally more saturated oils will be more plastic (more "spreadable") than a margarine made from hydrogenated soy oil.[citation needed] While full hydrogenation produces largely saturated fatty acids, partial hydrogenation results in the transformation of unsaturated cis fatty acids to unsaturated trans fatty acids in the oil mixture due to the heat used in hydrogenation. Partially hydrogenated oils and their trans fats have been linked to an increased risk of mortality from coronary heart disease,[8] among other increased health risks.

    In the US, the Standard of Identity for a product labeled as "vegetable oil margarine" specifies only canola, safflower, sunflower, corn, soybean, or peanut oil may be used.[9] Products not labeled "vegetable oil margarine" do not have that restriction.

    Vegetable oils are used as an ingredient or component in many manufactured products.

    Many vegetable oils are used to make soaps, skin products, candles, perfumes and other personal care and cosmetic products. Some oils are particularly suitable as drying oils, and are used in making paints and other wood treatment products. Dammar oil (a mixture of linsee

    Many vegetable oils are used to make soaps, skin products, candles, perfumes and other personal care and cosmetic products. Some oils are particularly suitable as drying oils, and are used in making paints and other wood treatment products. Dammar oil (a mixture of linseed oil and dammar resin), for example, is used almost exclusively in treating the hulls of wooden boats. Vegetable oils are increasingly being used in the electrical industry as insulators as 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, and they are more expensive than crude oil distillate. Synthetic tetraesters, which are similar to vegetable oils but with four fatty acid chains compared to the normal three found in a natural ester, are manufactured by Fischer esterification. Tetraesters generally have high stability to oxidation and have found use as engine lubricants.[relevant? ] Vegetable oil is being used to produce biodegradable hydraulic fluid[10] and lubricant.[11]

    One limiting factor in industrial uses of vegetable oils is that all such oils are susceptible to becoming rancid. Oils that are more stable, such as ben oil or mineral oil, are thus preferred for industrial uses. Castor oil has numerous industrial uses, owing to the presence of hydroxyl group on the fatty acid. Castor oil is a precursor to Nylon 11.

    Vegetable oil is used in the production of some pet foods. AAFCO[12] defines vegetable oil, in this context, as the product of vegetable origin obtained by extracting the oil from seeds or fruits which are processed for edible purposes.

    Fuel