Soybean oil is a very common vegetable oil that comes from soybean plant seeds. Over 60 million tons of this oil were produced globally from 2018–to 2019, making soybean oil one of the most popular oils available. Its popularity comes from the fact that it is extremely versatile cooking oil and can be used for a variety of cooking methods.
Soybean Oil Benefits
The list of soybean oil benefits is lengthy. First and foremost, this type of oil has several health benefits, including the following:
- Heart health. Soybean oil is packed with heart-healthy fats. The specific type of fatty acids in this oil, polyunsaturated fatty acids, can lower your LDL cholesterol levels—the type of cholesterol responsible for heart diseases and other health problems.
- Bone health. Soybean oil is rich in vitamin K, an essential nutrient when it comes to healthy bones. Vitamin K regulates bone metabolism, meaning that it encourages the production of healthy bone mass/tissues.
- Immunity, brain function, and fetal development. Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to these health benefits, and also play a role in sustaining a healthy heart due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Soybean oil is loaded with omega-3s, adding yet another great quality to this oil.
- Skin health. Soybean oil is often included in skincare products, like serums and lotions, because it has been shown to improve or restore damaged skin barriers and increase the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Additionally, it can be applied directly to the skin as an anti-inflammatory due to its vitamin E content.
Aside from the health benefits, this oil is quite versatile when used in cooking, as it has a neutral taste, so it can be added to any meal that uses cooking oil. It also has a high smoke point, so it can be used instead of other low smoke-point oils for high-heat cooking like sautéing, frying, or baking.
Soybean oil extraction is relatively simple. It involves the use of a solvent and some basic industrial machinery. This process is known as a solvent liquid transfer.
First, the beans are cleaned, cracked, and dehulled before they are placed into the extractor. The extractor repeatedly washes the beans with countercurrent flows of hexane, the solvent of choice for soybean oil extraction. This solvent dissolves the oil from the beans, which are then carried to a vacuum that distills the beans to remove the solvent, leaving behind pure soybean oil.
The quality of soybean oil is then determined based on the amount of residual hexane solvent, the color of the oil, and the absence or presence of desired nutrients, like fatty acids.
Looking to Make Your Own Soybean Oil?
With the right equipment, soybean oil extraction is done safely and efficiently. Here at Extraction Grade Solvents, we provide affordable, high-quality, eco-friendly solvents to fit your every need. Our team is available here to answer any questions or assist you with the shopping process, or you can find exactly what you need in our online shop here!