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Fats and oils

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What are fats and oils?[edit]

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Fats and oils:

  • do not mix with water
  • will mix with other oils

Oils are distinguished from fats by the fact that they are normally liquid at room temperature. Fats are normally solid at room temperature.

Fats and especially oils are generally flammable and care must be taken to avoid accidentally igniting.


You can get oil out of many plant products, if you squeeze them hard enough.

Vegetable oils include:

Animal fats include:


Vegetable and animal fats and oils[edit]

Edible fats and oils, including animal fats and vegetable fats (vegetable oils), are an important component of the human diet. Lack of adequate food energy is a continuing problem in many areas of the developing world and in famines, resulting in malnutrition, disease, and deaths; while in the developed countries over-consumption of fats leads to obesity and serious health problems.

They can also be used for biofuel, through conversion to biodiesel or direct use as straight vegetable oil. This raises serious issues of food security, as ever-increasing demand for transport fuel, especially from richer people, competes with food crops (both using food crops for biofuel and replacing food crops with biofuel-oriented crops). This places the ability of the poor to feed themselves in danger.

A more recent use is the production of bioplastics.W[verification needed]

Fats are the carriers of several important vitamins, and are also an important source of food energy (calorie).


Inedible oils include petroleum products such as kerosene. These are a non-renewable resource.

These which are used:

The burning of petroleum products is a major contributor to climate change.

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