Edible fats and oils

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
General chemical structure of fats (R 1 , R 2 and R 3 are alkyl or alkenyl radicals with mostly an odd number of carbon atoms): triester of glycerol .
Sunflower, a commercially important oil crop
Rapeseed is the most important oil crop in Europe

Edible fat and edible oil are fats suitable for human consumption with a neutral to native smell and taste. Both are water-insoluble esters made from fatty acids and glycerine , so-called glycerides .

Depending on whether the substances are solid or liquid at room temperature , one speaks of fat or oil . Fats that are solid at room temperature but are still spreadable are called spreadable fats .

A distinction is made between

In the case of fats and oils from a single raw material, these are named after him z. B. coconut oil , peanut oil and beef tallow .


Vegetable oils and animal fats have been extracted since the Stone Age . While the ancient Greeks and Romans used olive oil for frying and refining dishes and butter was only used for medicinal purposes, butter, lard and fats dominated German cuisine until the early 20th century. In a report on the first fishing exhibition in Vienna (September 1902) the magazine Die Woche describes mainly French fish recipes with olive oil and complains about Central Europe's obsession with edible fat:

“A circumstance that stands in the way of the correct preparation of the sea fish in Vienna and probably also in Berlin is the insurmountable aversion that the German palate, or perhaps only the German imagination, has for the most appetizing of all fats, olive oil. This stems from the time when German households only knew what is known as 'spinning wheel oil', which was obtained from kohlrabi and sunflowers. But it is difficult to combat such a prejudice, which has been handed down from generation to generation, and many German gourmets abandon their sole fillets when they hear that they are baked in hot oil, although they are only prepared in this way, retain their full, fine taste . "

- Bettina Wirth : The week. 1902

Ten years ago, according to the author in 1902, “the Viennese people only ate fish once a year - the inevitable mirror carp on Christmas Eve .” In butter.


Edible oils are liquid at a temperature of 20 ° C, generally clear and often yellowish or greenish in color. They hardly contain any cholesterol ( steroids ), and they also have a distinct, species-specific seed or fruit taste. An exception is cod liver oil, which contains a lot of cholesterol.

Edible fats are solid or semi-solid vegetable or animal fats at a temperature of 20 ° C. Animal fats are high in cholesterol.

They consist mainly of the triglycerides of fatty acids and are almost anhydrous. It may also contain small amounts of other substances such as phosphates , waxes , other acylglycerols and free fatty acids .

In addition to the melting point , the smoke point plays an important role as it determines the area of ​​application of the vegetable oil or fat. Its smoke point drops due to high thermal loads (long duration / high temperature). Further characteristic values ​​are the oxidation stability and the solids content .


The edible oils are obtained through various processes:

Depending on the manufacturing method and the starting products, a distinction is made between the following types of production:

  • Native edible fats and oils are obtained by pressing or other gentle mechanical processes from raw materials that have not been preheated and without the use of heat. They are not deacidified, bleached or deodorized. In contrast, they can be washed, filtered or centrifuged.
  • Unrefined edible fats and oils are obtained by melting, pressing or centrifuging. They can be washed and steamed, dried, filtered or centrifuged. They are neither deacidified, bleached nor deodorized.
  • Refined edible fats and oils are degummed, deacidified and deodorized. They can also be bleached and finely filtered (polished).
  • Hardened edible fats are refined edible fats and edible oils or mixtures thereof, the fatty acids of which are changed by hydrogenation .
  • Interesterified edible fats are refined edible fats and edible oils or mixtures which are produced under the action of catalysts. The arrangement of the fatty acids and the melting behavior are changed.
  • Fractionated edible fats and oils are of refined or unrefined edible fats and oils by cooling and then separation of the stearine from the oleins prepared melting proportions.
  • Ready-made edible fats and oils are produced through fat hardening , transesterification and fractional distillation or a combination of these methods.
  • Cold-resistant edible oils are made from refined or unrefined oils by winterizing .

In addition to fats and oils, auxiliary materials are also used in production. These are mainly beta-carotene , palm oil , tocopherols , palmitic acid esters and lecithins .


Vegetable edible fats

Edible vegetable fats are known as edible fat or → vegetable fat . Depending on the intended use, the word fat is combined with its name e.g. B. cooking fat, frying fat, frying fat or shortening. Important edible fats are cocoa butter , coconut oil , palm kernel oil and palm oil . Some sources also count margarine and its variants as edible fats.

Edible vegetable oils

Vegetable edible oils are referred to as edible oil, vegetable oil, table oil, salad oil or deep-frying oil.

Main varieties / composition

The following table and the figure show the proportions of different fatty acid residues of the triglycerides (triester of glycerine) in edible oils in percent; in brackets the number of carbon atoms and, if applicable, the double bonds in the fatty acid residue (carbon atoms: double bond).

Capryls. (8) ,
caprins. (10) ,
Laurins. (12)





(18: 1) n-9

(18: 2) n-6

Alpha- linolenic
(18: 3α) n-3

Gamma -
(18: 3γ) n-6

(20: 1.2)
Safflower oil
(also "safflower oil")
Safflower / Carthamus (seeds) 6.9 2.1 10.4 79
peanut oil Peanut plant (seeds) 10 3 1.5 3 41 35.5 1
Hemp oil Industrial hemp (seeds) 6.6 2.4 10.4 57.8 17.4 2.5
Pumpkin seed oil
(especially in AT also "seed oil")
Styrian oil pumpkin (seed kernels) 16 5 24 54 0.5
linseed oil ripe linseed of flax 6.5 3.5 18th 14th 58
Corn oil Corn seeds (germs) 10.5 2.5 0.5 32.5 52 1
Poppy seed oil Poppy seeds 9.5 2 10.5 76 1
olive oil Olive (pulp and stone) 11.5 2.5 0.5 75.5 7.5 1
Rapeseed oil Rapeseed (seeds) 4th 1.5 0.5 63 20th 9 1
sesame oil Sesame seeds 8.5 4.5 0.5 42 44.5
Soybean oil Soybean 10 4th 23 51 7 (or <1)
Sunflower oil Sunflower (seeds) 6.2 5 19.9 66.8
Grapeseed oil Grape (seeds) 7.3 3.3 24.8 63
Walnut oil Walnut (seed) 8th 2 1 16 59 12
Wheat germ oil Wheat seeds (germs) 17th 1 20th 52 10
FS composition BMK.jpg

More varieties

This list contains other types not listed in the composition table above. In brackets: the part of the plant used.

Edible animal fats

Edible animal fats are named after the type of animal or poultry. In addition, the additional designation edible fat or information on the intended use, e.g. B. frying fat, deep-frying fat, shortening or cream fat is used. Important edible fats are tallow from domestic sheep and domestic cattle as well as lard from goose and domestic pigs . Some sources also include the spreadable fats butter , milk fat and their products as animal edible fats.

Animal oils

The term edible oil is not used for (liquid) oils. Sea animal fats are known as fish oil or fish oil . Uncleaned they are called Tran, and after processing, the animal used may be added as a name. In addition to fatty fish (especially herring and sardine ), whales and seals ( bubblers ) are the main sources of marine animal fats . The consistency of the latter depends on the outside temperature, as they have different solidification temperatures than normal oils and fats.

Synthetic edible fats and oils

Synthetic edible fats and oils can be produced from raw materials such as coal or petroleum using chemical methods such as the Fischer-Tropsch process . In the 1940s, for example, this was done by the synthetic edible fat works in Imhausen u. Co. Witten realized on a larger scale. At that time, nearly seven tons of coal were needed to produce one ton of artificial butter. The end product was described as well tolerated and quite tasty. With modern methods, the consistency, the taste and other characteristics can be adjusted as required.


If edible fat and resinous edible oil get into the sewer system, there may be a connection with fiber materials such as cleaning rags, diapers, tights, tightly connected lumps that are difficult for sewer operators to remove. Such fat fiber masses, known as fat mountain , adhere to the canal wall, can drift on and also clog the canal cross-section. In 2017, the municipality of London promoted the fight against the 250 m long Whitechapel monster (#fatberg) - a particularly large-volume consequence of high-fat cooking and improper disposal.

Various municipalities and companies distribute sealable polyethylene containers to households and restaurants and take them back filled with cooking oil and cooking oil waste (used cooking oil collection ). The used fat is remunerated and processed in specialized companies. It is biodiesel and feed produced.


Web links

Wiktionary: edible oils  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. The week . Issue 40 of October 4, 1902, page 1879.
  2. Robert Ebermann, Ibrahim Elmadfa: Textbook food chemistry and nutrition. 2nd edition, Springer, 2011, ISBN 978-3-7091-0210-7 , p. 551.
  3. Belitz, Grosch, Schieberle: Textbook of food chemistry. 5th edition, Springer, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-540-41096-1 .
  4. Stealing coal for twenty minutes, but double fat filtration . In: Der Spiegel . No. 46 , 1947 ( online ).
  5. Riesenfettberg in London sewer cleared orf.at, November 4, 2017, accessed November 4, 2017.