Food Technology: Fats/Oils

A file containing a variety of infomation about Fats and Oils.

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  • Created on: 14-05-16 14:57
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Oils (liquid at room temp : can be extracted from various seeds, flowers and beans. And may even
be found in wheat, barley and some fruits )
Fats (solids are room temp : From animals, fish or vegetable origin. Animal fats come from the flesh
of animals eg. Suet/lard. Fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon and trout are rich sources of oils )
o Fish Oils:
Used in manufacture of margarine.
Obtained from cod and halibut liver.
Originally a butter substitute.
No more than 16% water.
Fortified with vitamin A & D.
Colourings are strictly controlled and it must not contain additives.
Margarines are made from a variety of fats/oils from animal and vegetable
o Animal Fats:
Extracted by heating an animal's carcass.
The liquid fat is collected, cooled and reformed in hard blocks of fat.
Suet comes from beef cattle.
Lard comes from pigs.
Fat can be extracted from milk to form cream, the cream can then be churned to
form butter.
o White Fats:
Do not contain water.
Made by varying brands of vegetable oils, fish oils and lard.
Lard substitute for pastry making/frying.
Very bland flavour.
o Vegetable Oils:
Many plants produce seeds which contain oil.
The process involves squeezing the oil from the hard tough seeds, the oil is then
refined to remove any fatty acids which can cause the oil to go rancid .
Removing the fatty acids also improves the taste , smell and the appearance.
Refined oils are used extensively in the food industry ­ in their liquid form or after
they have been hydrogenated to create a solid fat.
Liquid oils may be pure such as olive oil or be sold as blends of mixed vegetable
o Low Fat Spreads:
More than 16% of water.
They are oil in water emulsions and contain a much lower percentage of fat than
They are fortified but cannot be used for baking/frying.
Functions of Fat:
o Fat is concerted form of energy.
o Fat is digested very slowly , therefore it prevents hunger sensations for longer
(Satiety) t han other
o Fat is stored under the skin = acts as an insulator.
o Fat is essential to the structure and functions of body cells.
o Vitamin A, D, E, K are fat soluble micronutrients therefore are found in fatty foods.
o Vegetable oils contain substances called essential fatty acids which makes hormones to control
blood clotting , helps prevent skin conditions and aid growth.
Functions in Cooking:

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Adds flavour = eg. Fats in biscuits, cakes. Melted on vegetables.
o Makes food moist = eg. Butter or margarine on bread and scones.
o Seals = eg. Butter and lard helps to preserve pâtés by sealing them.
o Shortens/changes texture = Pastry/shortbread have a crumbly texture because the flour
particles are coated in fat.
o Aerates = In cake mixtures butter/margarine helps trap air when creamed with sugar.…read more

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Triglycerides are the main constituents of vegetable oils and animal fats. They have lower
densities than water, and at normal room temp the may be solid or liquid. They are also the
chemical compound formed from one molecule of glycerol and three fatty acids.
Classifications and Chemical Structures of Fats
Fats containing only saturated fatty acids are hard and have a melting points about or above
room temp.
Oils contain unsaturated fatty acids and they have melting points below room temp.…read more

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Soya beans
control blood pressure, blood clotting and your immune Herring
system respond. Salmon
Linolenic fatty acids are also called Omega ­ 3 fats, Mackerel
which are known to have many health benefits. Tuna
Saturated Fat This is also called "animal fat" because it is found in Butter
foods that originally come from animals. They are also Cheese
know to increase LDL "bad" cholesterol. Cream
Trans Fat Trans fats is formed when liquid oils are made into solid Fried foods
fats.…read more

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Some oils are so unsaturated that they are little use in the natural state.
The oil is heated and stirred with nickel as a catalyst. Unsaturated fats are susceptible to
oxidation which leads to rancidity.
Hydrogenation is a commercial chemical process to add more hydrogen to natural unsaturated
fats to decrease the number of double bonds and eliminate the potential risk of rancidity.…read more

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Oxidation of fats results in the replacement of an oxygen ion for a hydrogen ion in the fatty acid
The substitution destabilises the molecule and makes it possible for other chemical fragments to
find a place along the chain.
What we perceive is an unpleasant change in the flavour and odour of a food is called rancidity.
Unsaturated fats are more susceptible to oxidation than saturated fats.
Factors which accelerate fat oxidation include trace metals (iron, zinc etc)salt, light, water,
bacteria and moulds.…read more


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