Oil is a plant-derived fat that remains liquid at room temperature. It can be obtained from soybean, sunflower, corn, linseed, palm, coconut, rapeseed, olives, peanut, canola and many other plants.
Oils are made up of a mixture of triglycerides containing fatty acids of various lengths and composition. They are free from animal-cholesterol. Except those sourced from palm and coconut, oils are generally low in saturated fats and high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
In baking, oils can help with:
Shelf life extension
In baking, lubrication is of utmost importance for ease of dough handling and its expansion. In loaf breads, oil provides better slicing. Furthermore, it tenderizes baked items and helps in prolonging shelf life by slowing down retrogradation or staling.
Stability of cooking oils
Oil instability is a major concern and can result in loss of quality (rancidity) and nutritional value as well as safety concerns. Antioxidants are often added to oil-containing foods to prevent peroxidation.
Rancidity of oils is assessed by measuring the peroxide value (PV). The test measures the peroxide and hydroperoxide concentrations formed due to oil oxidation. Results are expressed as milliequivalents of peroxide oxygen that combines with 1 kg (meq/kg) of oil to liberate iodine from potassium iodide.1
The Codex Standard for Named Vegetable Oils (CODEX-STAN 2010 – 1999) specifies that peroxide values of vegetable oils should be less than 10 and 15 milliequivalents of active oxygen/kg oil for refined and cold pressed virgin oils respectively.
Types of oils, extraction processes, composition, applications and regulations:
Mineral oil is chemically inert and is not absorbed by the body.3
Lubricant, protects equipment from damage.
Permitted as a direct or indirect food additive for human consumption. In bakery products it is allowed as a release agent and lubricant not to exceed 0.15%. (21 C.F.R. § 172.878 2018). It is exempt from food labelling.
Liu, Xiaojun, Qingzhe Jin, Yuanfa Liu, Jianhua Huang, Xingguo Wang, Wenyue Mao, and Shanshan Wang. “Changes in volatile compounds of peanut oil during the roasting process for production of aromatic roasted peanut oil.” Journal of food science 76, (3) 2011 pp C404-C412.