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Cooking oil is a plant, animal or synthetic fat that is made up of carbohydrates and protein that is used in frying and baking food. Most of the cooking oil is liquid at room temperature while cooking oil that contains 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 has the richest flavor because it is made without any heat or chemical.
Unfortunately, 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 for cooking.
Peanut oil – It is extracted by pressing steamed – cooked peanuts and is commonly used in Asian for cooking. Also, this oil has a 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 works 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 as having low saturated fat. It has a 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 meat or kernel of coconut and usually known for its sweet flavor and thus used for baking and frostings.
On the other side animals, oils are mainly butter and lard.
COOKING OIL INGREDIENTS
Cooking oil is usually flavored with romantic foodstuffs such as herbs like fennel and coriander. They are used in small quantities to add flavor to the cooking oil. Some fruits such as chills pepper are also used to add flavor and apart from that, it provides a large amount of vitamin C, provitamin A, beta and also is a rich source of vitamin B6.
Also, garlic is included for flavor since ancient Egypt. it was used for both flavoring as well as traditional medicine. It is characterized by 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 the chemical solvent from the extraction process.
- Neutralization- the oil is treated with sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate to pull out acids and phospholipids.
- Bleaching removes colored components bypassing the oil through fuller’s earth, activated carbonated carbon followed by heating, filtering and then trying to recoup the oil.
- Dewaxing – this improves clarity of oils by dropping them too low-temperature and removing any solid that forms.
- Preservation- this is achieved by the addition of ButylatedHyroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (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. Cooking oil should be kept in a cool, dry place to minimize the degrading effect of heat and light.