Vegetable Oil: What is it? How is it made?

Vegetable Oil: What is it? How is it made?

Most people are not familiar with how vegetable oil is made. While it is a complex process, the steps are easy to understand once described.  

Read this blog post to learn more about the process of creating vegetable oil before purchasing your materials. 

What kind of Oil is Vegetable Oil? 

Vegetable oil is a form of cooking oil. The term applies to edible oils made from plants. Typically, vegetable oil is extracted from the seeds of the plants. Seed oils are a specific kind of vegetable oil, meaning that all seed oils are also vegetable oils. 

List of common plants used to create vegetable oil: 

  • Olives 
  • Palm fruit 
  • Rapeseed (makes canola oil) 
  • Coconut 
  • Sunflower seeds 
  • Hemp seed 

How is Vegetable Oil Made? 

People have been making vegetable oil for over millennia. Sunflower, coconut, soy, and olive oil were some of the earliest forms, created by heating the plants or beating them into a paste. As demand increased, technology advanced. Now, most vegetable oil is made using a chemical oil extraction process.  

Production steps: 

  • Cleanse  
    • All metal and skin removed from surface
    • Clean plant material crushed and heated 
  • Press 
    • The crushed material is placed under gradually increased pressure (think juicer) 
  • Solvent Extraction 
    • Solvent added to pressed material to dissolve remaining oil 
    • The solvent is distilled (removed from the oil) 
  • Refine 
    • Oil heated to 85 ºC and combined with an alkaline substance 
    • Degumming: Oil treated with water or acid and gum dregs removed 
    • Pigment filtered out 
    • Deodorized: Steam passed through oil 
  • Package 

While the process varies, it is relatively standardized. Depending on the desired usage, some vegetable oil requires additional steps for refinement, such as adding citrus acid to deodorize or being rapidly chilled. 

Looking to process vegetable and seed oil? 

Browse our website to find solutions to your oil extraction needs! We offer high-quality edible, CBD, and oilseed solvents in 5-gallon and 55-gallon pails. To purchase our edible oil solvents, click here 

Still, have questions?  

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