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Edible oil and fat production

Oils and fats occur naturally in a wide range of sources, although only around 22 vegetable oils are processed on a commercial scale around the world.

In terms of function of the raw material used, the following processes may be distinguished:
  • production of oils from oilseeds
  • production of oils from fruit pulp
  • production of slaughterhouse animal fats
  • production of marine animal oils.
Of these, soya bean, ground-nut, olive, sunflower-seed, safflower, cotton-seed, rapeseed (also known as colza oil in some parts of Europe) and mustard oils are produced in the largest quantities. Mediterranean countries produce 95 % of the total world olive oil production, estimated at 2.4 million tonnes per year.

Animal fats are generally “rendered” from slaughtered carcases using material fit for human
consumption; although some are also produced from marine sources.

Oils and fats are produced for human consumption and, in a smaller scale, for animal feed
production, medical purposes and for technical applications.

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