Edible Oils & Fats

Edible Oils  Edible Oils & Fats Vegetable oils

Edible Oils are vegetable oils. They are triglycerides extracted from plants. Such oils have been part of human culture for millennia. Edible oils are used in food, both in cooking and supplements. Many oils, edible and otherwise, are burned as fuel, such as in oil lamps and as a substitute for petroleum–based fuels. Some of the many other uses include wood finishing, oil painting and skin care.

There are several types of plant oils, distinguished by the method used to extract the oil from the plant. The relevant part of the plant may be placed under pressure to extract the oil, giving expressed (or pressed) oil. Edible oils may also be extracted from plants by dissolving parts of plants in water or another solvent. The solution may be separated from the plant material and concentrated, giving an extracted or leached oil. The mixture may also be separated by distilling the oil away from the plant material. Oils extracted by this latter method are called essential oils. Essential oils often have different properties and uses than pressed or leached vegetable oils. Finally, macerated oils are made by infusing parts of plants in a base oil, a process called liquid–liquid extraction.

The term “vegetable oil” can be narrowly defined as referring only to substances that are liquid at room temperature, or broadly defined without regard to a substance’s state of matter at a given temperature. While a large majority of the entries in this list fit the narrower of these definitions, some do not qualify as vegetable oils according to all understandings of the term.Although most plants contain some oil, only the oil from certain major oil crops complemented by a few dozen minor oil crops is widely used and traded. Vegetable oils can be classified in several ways, for example:

  1. By source: most, but not all vegetable oils are extracted from the fruits or seeds of plants, and the oils may be classified by grouping oils from similar plants, such as “nut oils”.
  2. By use: as described above, oils from plants are used in cooking, for fuel, for cosmetics, for medical purposes, and for other industrial purposes.

The vegetable oils are grouped below in common classes of use.

Edible Oils

Major Oils

These oils make up a significant fraction of worldwide edible oil production. All are also used as fuel oils.

  1. Coconut oil, a cooking oil, with medical and industrial applications as well. Extracted from the kernel or meat of the fruit of the coconut palm. Common in the tropics, and unusual in composition, with medium chain fatty acids dominant.
  2. Corn oil, one of the principal oils sold as salad and cooking oil.
  3. Cottonseed oil, used as a salad and cooking oil, both domestically and industrially.
  4. Olive oil, used in cooking, cosmetics, soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps.
  5. Palm oil, the most widely produced tropical oil. Popular in West African and Brazilian cuisine. Also used to make biofuel.
  6. Peanut oil (Ground nut oil), a clear oil with some applications as a salad dressing and due to its high smoke point, especially used for frying.
  7. Rapeseed oil, including Canola oil, one of the most widely used cooking oils.
  8. Safflower oil, until the 1960s used in the paint industry, now mostly as a cooking oil.
  9. Sesame oil, cold pressed as light cooking oil, hot pressed for a darker and stronger flavor.
  10. Soybean oil, produced as a byproduct of processing soy meal.
  11. Sunflower oil is a common cooking oil and also used to make biodiesel.