Animals or oilseeds are the sources of edible fat in the United States. Animal fats are obtained by separating the fat from the tissues in a process called rendering. Heat is applied to separate the fat from the tissue protein. Vegetable fats are obtained by crushing the oil source and extracting the fats by direct compression and filtration. Modern processing utilizes solvent (typically hexane) extraction to improve efficiency and yield. The solvent is recycled after recovery and reused. Oils and fats obtained from this process are called crude because they contain small amounts of nontriglyceride components. Crude fats and oils are processed to remove the undesired material and modify the physical properties to obtain useful, functional products.

Two types of refining processes are commonly in use: chemical or physical (steam) refining. Both employ similar steps, but with different objectives. Most vegetable oils and

Table 2. Approximate Fatty Acid Composition, Percent Total Fatty Acids


Canola oil

Coconut oil

Corn oil

Cottonseed oil

Palm oil

Soybean oil


C 6:0

Coconut Oil - The Healthy Fat

Coconut Oil - The Healthy Fat

The coconut tree is one of the most versatile plants in existence. Whilst we are all familiar with the coconut as a food source not many of us know the myriad of other benefits the coconut holds.

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