Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A vegetable oil or vegoil is an oil extracted from oilseeds or another plant source. Some vegetable oils, such as rapeseed, cottonseed or castor oil, are not fit for human consumption without further processing.
Common sources of vegetable oil include:
- castor bean - castor oil
- flax seed - linseed oil
- grape seed - grape seed oil
- hemp (cannabis)
- poppy seeds - poppyseed oil
- safflower - safflower oil
- sesame seed - sesame oil
Other vegetable oils:
- corn (maize)
- cotton seed - cottonseed oil
- coconut - coconut oil
- neem oil
- olive - olive oil
- palm - palm oil - from the fruit of the African palm tree -
- palm kernel oil - from the seed of the African palm tree
- peanut - peanut oil
- pumpkin seed
- rice bran - used also in paints
|Soybeans||26.0 million tonnes (MMT)|
|Palm Kernel||2.7 MMT|
Note that these figures include industrial and animal feed use. The vegetable oil most widely used in human nutrition is sunflower seed oil. Palm oil, which is solid at room temperature, is used mainly to produce soaps and cosmetics. The majority of European rapeseed oil production is used to produce biodiesel, or used directly as fuel in diesel cars which are modified to handle the higher viscosity.
- One can use the "modern" way of processing oil by chemical extraction, using solvent extracts, which produces higher yields and is quicker and less expensive. The most common solvent is petroleum-derived hexane, more commonly known as petroleum ether.
- Another way is the "physical extraction", that does not use solvent extracts. It is made the "old" way by expeller -pressed mechanical extraction. This method is frequently used to produce cooking oil, since it is preferred by most customers (at least in Europe).
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