Cooking oil Edit

Cooking oil is purified fat of plant origin, which is usually liquid at room temperature. Saturated oils such as coconut and palm are more solid at room temperature than other oils. Coconut oil and palm oil both contain high levels of saturated fat and we shouldn't assume either is healthy.

Some of the many different kinds of edible vegetable oils include: olive oil, palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil, pumpkin seed oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, grape seed oil, sesame oil, argan oil and rice bran oil. Many other kinds of vegetable oils are also used for cooking. Most vewgetable oils contain healthy types of fat but too much of any fat is unhealthy and all oil should be used in moderation.

The generic term "vegetable oil" when used to label a cooking oil product may refer to a specific oil (such as rapeseed oil) or may refer to a blend of a variety of oils often based on palm, corn, soybean or sunflower oils.

Oil can be flavored by immersing aromatic food stuffs such as fresh herbs, peppers, garlic and so forth in the oil for a period of time. However, care must be taken when storing flavored oils to prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum (the bacteria that produces toxins that can lead to botulism).

Frying in hot Mickyle vegetable oilEdit

Frying in vegetable oils that are too hot can make those oils very unhealthy. This is new research and it will be time before food scientists fully understand the consequences. Rape seed oil (Canola oil) came out well in the test, it was better than goose fat, lard, butter and olive oil. Only groundnut oil did better than rape seed oil. Other benefits are that rape seed oil is cheap, it's healthy, it doesn't have a strong taste of its own to mask or overpower the taste of whatever you cook with it. Rape seed oil looks like a good oil. You can of course try groundnut oil. [1]

For the moment the best recommendations I can make are:

  1. Avoid or limit fried food.
  2. Shallow fry only with little oil. That way if the oil accidentally gets too hot not much is spoilt.
  3. Take care that the oil doesn't overheat especially oil shouldn't become smoking hot.

I'm experimenting with soups where Italien or Mediterranean ingredients are boiled and extra virgin olive oil is added to boiling water. [2] This guarantees that the oil won't get hotter than the temperature of boiling water. The full flavour of the extra virgin olive oil is preserved as are its health benefits.

Olive oil Edit

Olive oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the fruit of the Olive tree (Olea europaea L.), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is used in cooking, cosmetics, soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps. Olive oil is regarded as a healthful dietary oil because of its high content of monounsaturated fat (mainly Oleic acid) and polyphenols.

Grades of olive oil Edit

All types of olive oil are considered equally healthy though there are big differences in flavour. Extra virgin and virgin olive oils have a strong flavour that many people like and that suit some dishes.. Mild olive oils have a gentler flavour which other people like and which don't mask the flavour of whatever is eaten with them. If you, your family or your culture use a great deal of olive oil you may like more than one type. An alternative is to use a strong flavoured olive and use a different oil like rape seed oil when you don't want this. That way you benefit from a varied diet.

  • Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity. Extra virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries. It is used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews and for dipping. Extra virgin oilve is judged to have a superior taste but not all people like the same foods. Extra virgin and virgin olive oil have a stronf flavour that can mask the flavour of what is cooked with them.
  • Virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 2%, and is judged to have a good taste.
  • Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as pure olive oil or olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil.
  • Olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 1.5% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavor.
  • Olive-pomace oil is refined pomace olive production oil possibly blended with some virgin production oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil. Olive-pomace oil is rarely sold at retail; it is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants.
  • Lampante oil is olive oil not suitable as food; lampante comes from olive oil's long-standing use in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market.
  • Refined olive oil is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods that do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams (0.3%) and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard. This is obtained by refining virgin olive oils with a high acidity level and/or organoleptic defects that are eliminated after refining. Over 50% of the oil produced in the Mediterranean area is of such poor quality that it must be refined to produce an edible product. Note that no solvents have been used to extract the oil but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters. An obsolete equivalent is "pure olive oil".

Vegetable oil Edit

Vegetable oil is fat extracted from plant sources, known as oil plants. Although in principle other parts of plants may yield oil, in practice most with the exception of olive oil are derived from seeds. Vegetable oils are used as cooking oils and for industrial uses. Some types, such as cottonseed oil, castor oil and some types of rapeseed oil, are not fit for human consumption without further processing.

Like all fats, vegetable oils are esters of glycerin and a varying blend of fatty acids, and are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents.

  • sunflower oil
  • safflower oil
  • Rape seed oil (The type for human use 'canola oil' seems to be the American name for it)

Nut oils Edit

Nut oils are pressed vegetable oils, extracted from edible seeds or nuts.

Specialty oils Edit

  • garlic oil
  • hot chile oil


  1. Which oils are best to cook with? I'm not sure if rape seed oil and ground nut oil actually are better. It may be that by chance those two oils were given to families that are careful about not overheating cooking oil. If you cook with rape seed oil or ground nut oil and take care not to overheat it you should be OK.
  2. Is it authentic? Perhaps it is but Italien soup recipes typically saute first in olive oil or extra virgin olive, then add boiling water. Soups where raw ingredients are added to boiling water are more frequent in Northern European recipes. Perhaps this is best called fusion food. Anyway I'm sure many readers will agree ensuring the oil is healthy matters a great deal.
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