Vegetable fats are obtained mainly from seeds, but they can also be found in the flesh of fruits as in the case of the oil palm or avocado. The main raw materials in world production are oil palm, soybean, canola, sunflower, peanut, cotton and coconut.
Vegetable fats are usually divided into solid and liquid at room temperature.Solid fats are usually derived from tropical plants (e.g. coconut fat, cocoa fat, palm fat). They owe their texture to the fatty acids of which the fat molecules are composed. Each plant variety has its own unique composition. It can, of course, vary slightly as a result of different agronomic treatments, climate and the time of year the seeds are sown.
Vegetable solid fats are rich in saturated fatty acids, which, like animal fats, have low nutritional value and their excessive consumption increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. According to the assessment of doctors and nutritionists, the most beneficial for our health are liquid vegetable fats - oils. They owe their texture and health properties precisely to the presence in their composition of unsaturated fatty acids. Particularly valuable for our body are the so-called EFAs, i.e. essential fatty acids belonging to the omega-3 and omega-6 group.The best source of these among vegetable oils are linseed oil and rapeseed oil. Unfortunately, linseed oil has limited use only in cold dishes, due to its very low stability. We know from the several millennia-old dietary tradition of the Mediterranean people, who owe their longevity and low risk of heart disease to their diet, that olive oil also has a very good effect on health. Olive oil is the main source of fat in their diet. It is rich in oleic acid. The Polish equivalent of olive oil is the so-called midnight olive, or rapeseed oil. Oleic acid, in addition to its positive effects on the circulatory system, also has great properties that increase the stability of oils against oxidation.
In addition to their health benefits, oils have a more practical use in catering. Because they are liquid, they can be measured much more easily, heat up faster than solid fats and don't have to wait for them to dissolve.