How is Vegetable Oil Refined?

To create edible vegetable oil, the best process usually includes the following steps:

  1. Degumming – This process reduces the phosphatides in crude oils such as soybean rapeseed, sunflower, etc.
  2. Neutralizing – This step is needed if the particular oil you are refining is not neutralized in the deodorising step below. This step involves alkali neutralization of the free acids in the oil.
  3. Bleaching – Color pigments are removed by this process that performs absorption bleaching.
  4. Deodorizing – Using high temperature and sparge steam, the oil’s strong odor and taste are removed.
  5. Winterizing – To prevent some oils such as sunflower solidify at low winter temperatures, components like waxes are removed.
  6. Fractionation – A process that separates the different fat mixtures in the oil that have different low and high melting points. Adjusting the portions of these oils will achieve the goal of creating an oil that is liquid at room temperature.
  7. Hydrogenation – A process that saturates the oil to increase its melting point for use in a product such as margarine.
  8. Interesterification – Modifies the physical properties using enzymes that rearranges the fatty acids in triglycerides to make it either liquid or solid at room temperature.