Extracted from the seeds and fruits of plants, vegetable oils are important nutritional sources. They do not commingle with water and have smaller molecular weight than proteins and carbohydrates and give more energy. In addition to all these characteristics, oils are also used for heating and food preserving purposes.The main component of vegetable oils is oil molecules called triglyceride. Triglycerides constitute 95 % of crude oils and 99% of refined oils. In addition to triglycerides, all oils contain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Oils are high in unsaturated fats whereas solid fats are high in saturated fats.
Vegetable oils are produced by physical and chemical processes. In physical process, oilseeds are pressed by only mechanical means, in chemical process oil is extracted using a solvent (hexane).
Crude oils are produced by physical/chemical processes and are not suitable for direct consumption. They are only used for refining or technical purposes. Crude oils’ physical and chemical properties may change depending on loading, transport and storage conditions of oilseeds.