Classification of Vegetable oil

Classification of vegetable oil

Vegetable oils are classified based on their ability to absorb oxygen from the atmosphere.

They are usually classified into four main groups.

  1. Drying oils
  2. Semi-drying oils
  3. Non-drying oils.
  4. Vegetable fats.
Classification of Vegetable oil

Drying Oils 

They readily absorb atmospheric oxygen when exposed and form a dry thin elastic film.

They are fairly rich in unsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic and linolenic acids.

They have a high iodine number (more than 130).

They are particularly used in paint and varnish industries.

Examples – 

Linseed oil (Linum usitatissimum- Linaceae)

Safflower oil (Carthamus tinctorius- Asteraceae)

Poppy oil (Papaver somniferum- Papaveraceae)

Soyabean oil (Glycine max – Fabaceae)

Read Also: Resources of Vegetable Oils | Biology Ideas | Difference Between Vegetable and Volatile Oils

Semi-Drying oils 

They are intermediate between drying and non-drying oils and characterized by

They absorb atmospheric oxygen slowly and produce a soft film even after long exposure.

They are rich in linoleic and saturated acids but do not contain linolenic acid.

Semi-drying oil has an iodine number between 100 to 130.

They are edible oils, also as an illuminant, and in making soap and candles.

Examples – 

Cottonseed oil (Gossypium Spp-Malvaceae)

Sesame oil (Sesamum indicum Pedaliaceae)

Rape and Mustard oil (Brassica spp – Brassicaceae)

Sunflower oil (Helianthus annuus – Asteraceae)

Non-Drying oils 

These oils do not absorb atmospheric oxygen and as such are incapable of forming elastic films even after long exposure

They are rich in saturated acids and oleic acid and either contain small amounts or no linoleic or linolenic acids

Non-Drying oils have an iodine number less than 100.

They are particularly useful in the manufacture of soaps, as lubricants, and as food.

Examples –

Groundnut oil  (Arachis hypogea – Fabaceae)

Castor oil (Ricinus communis Euphorbiaceae)

Olive oil  (Olea europaea Oleaceae)

Read Also: Carbohydrates | Biology Ideas | Types and Uses

Vegetable Fats / Tallow 

Fats are solid or semisolid at room temperature.

They are fairly rich in saturated fatty acids. c) Vegetable fats have a low iodine number between 8-50.

They are edible, in the soap and candle-making industries.

Examples – 

Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera Arecaceae) (fat)

Palm oil  (Elaeis guineensis Arecaceae)

Cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao  Sterculiaceae)

Mohua fat  (Madhuca indica – Sapotaceae)

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