Vegetable oil (a.k.a. vegetable fat) is the fat extracted mostly from the seeds of plants/vegetables. I always assumed vegetable oil was extracted from the core of the vegetable or its skin/leaves, but that’s not accurate.
According to the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils (yes, that is a real thing), about 85 percent of what’s labeled vegetable oil in the United States is pure soybean oil. Soybean oil much cheaper to produce than other oils. Soybeans are a legume and legumes are technically vegetables.
The other 15 percent is likely to be a blend of canola, corn, sunflower, cottonseed, palm, etc. oils. If you are curious to know what types of oils make up your vegetable oil, look at the ingredient label. The ingredients used (but not the exact percentages) to make up the vegetable oil will be listed there in order of the amount used.
When making vegetable oil, the goal is to create a flavorless, odorless, and colorless oil. People don’t associate a taste with vegetable oil like they do olive oil or peanut oil. Vegetable oil is tasteless and odorless because compounds responsible for the smell and taste evaporate when the oil is heated during the processing of the oil.
- Beans are technically considered vegetables.
- Palm oil is the most widely manufactured oil not derived from animals.
- Vegetable oil can be used to fuel some cars.
- ChowHound.com – What Vegetables Go Into Vegetable Oil?
- TheDailyMeal.com – The “Vegetable” in Vegetable Oil Isn’t What You Think it Is
- Wikipedia.org – Vegetable Oil