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Cooking oil is a plant, animal or a synthetic fat that is made up of carbohydrate and protein that is used in frying and baking food. Most of the cooking oil are liquid at room temperature while cooking oil that contain saturated fatty acid such as coconut oil, palm oil are solid.
TYPES OF OILS
There so many varieties of cooking oil sources especially from plants. These include olive oil, palm oil, soybeans oil, canola oil, corn oil, peanut oil and many others.
Olive oil– it is extracted by pressing olives. This oil is mostly used in Mediterranean regions. It is has the richest flavor because it is made without any heat or chemical.
Unffortunately, olive oil is not suitable for frying and also deep frying.
Canola oil– This is extracted from the seeds of the Canola plant and is one of the oil with low saturated fat. However, it is excellent in cooking.
Peanut oil – It is extracted by pressing steamed – cooked peanuts and is commonly used in Asian for cooking. In addition, this oil has mild flavor and high smoke point meaning it can be used in deep frying and all range of other cooking.
Grasp seed oil-it is a versatile and fairly neutral flavor. It is not good for deep frying but work best for sautéing and baking as well frying.
Sunflower oil– It is extracted from sunflower seeds and it is known for its rich in Vitamin E as well having low saturated fat. It has high smoke point and light flavor. It is suitable for frying and oil for baking. On the other side sunflower cooking oil is unsuitable for low heat cooking.
Coconut oil– it is extracted from meet or kernel of coconut and usually known for its sweet flavor and thus used for baking and frostings.
On the other side animals oils is from mainly butter and lard.
COOKING OIL INGREDIENTS
Cooking oil is usually flavored with romantic food stuff such as herbs like fennel and coriander. They are used in small quantity to add flavor to the cooking oil. Some fruits such as chills pepper are also used so as to add flavor and apart from that it provide large amount of vitamin C, provitamin A, beta and also is a rich source of vitamin B6.
In addition, garlic is also included for flavor since ancient Egypt. it was used for both flavoring as well as traditional medicine. It is characterized with a pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking oil. Its flavor also varies in intensity with different cooking methods.
REFINING OF COOKING OIL
It follows the following procedure;
- Distillation- here the oil is heated to evaporate off chemical solvent from extraction process.
- Neutralization- the oil is treated with sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate to pull out acids and phospholipids.
- Bleaching whichremoves colored components by passing the oil through fuller’s earth, activated carbonated carbon followed by heating, filtering and then drying to recoup the oil.
- Dewaxing – this improvesclarity of oils by dropping them to low temperature andremoving any solid that forms.
- Preservation- this is achieved byaddition of ButylatedHyroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxtolueno (BHT).
It is important to note that oils degrade in response to light, oxygen and heat therefore a blanket of inert gas is applied to the vapor space in the storage container to delay the acidification that may cause unpleasant smell or taste. It is advisable that cooking oil should be kept in a cool, dry place to minimize the degrading effect of heat and light.