Edible fats and oils are obtained from both animal and vegetable sources. Animal sources include:
In North America, the first two are the prime sources.
Vegetable sources include canola, coconut, corn, cotton, olive, palm fruit and palm kernel, peanut, soya bean, safflower, and sunflower.
Refining of Fats and Oils
The major steps in refining fats and oils are as follows:
- Free fatty acids are neutralized and treated with an alkali.
- Colour is removed.
- The fat is hydrogenated.
- The fat is deodorized.
- The fat is chilled and beaten to make it softer and whiter. This is done by a votator (a machine that cools and kneads liquid margarine).
- Fat is stored to facilitate the correct crystallization (tempering).