Believe it or not you can get oils from plants…I bet you haven’t been so surprised since you found out bees made honey.
Some fruits, seeds and nuts are rich in oils that can be extracted. The plant material is crushed and the oil removed by pressing or in some cases by distillation. Water and other impurities are then removed.
Some oily fruits are olives and avocados. Brazil, peanuts and sesame seeds are examples of oily seeds.
These have a few handy uses.
- As Food
Vegetable oils have a lot of energy and oils from seeds contain nutrients like vitamin E. They also contain essential fatty acids
- For Cooking
As they have a higher boiling point than water they can be used to cook foods at higher temperatures than by simple boiling. This produces quicker cooking and different flavours but increases the energy that the food releases when it is eaten.
- As Fuel
Vegetable oils like rapeseed and soybean oil can be sued as fuels – this is because they contain a lot of energy. Biodiesel is probably the best known fuel from vegetable oils.