Cooking oils have always been an essential part of cooking since ages. People across various regions began to process vegetable oils thousand of years ago, utilizing whatever food stuff that was available in hand to obtain oil for cooking purposes. Early people learned to use Sun, a fire or an oven to heat oily plant products until plants exuded oil that could be later collected. However gradually, the composition and techniques of extraction from the variety of plants have evolved to a very large extent.
Vegetable oil extracted from the plants seeds, have been used since ancient times and in many cultures. In a 4000 years old kitchen unearthed in Indiana’s Charlestown state park, archaeologist found the evidence that large stone slabs were used to crush hickory nuts and then oil was extracted using boiling water.
History of vegetable oil production
History of vegetable oil production is as old as thousand of years before Christ. At that time, say in 2000 B.C. Chinese and Japanese used soybean to extract oil whereas somewhere in 3000 B.C. in South Europe olive oil was used from the best quality of olives. In Mexico and North America, peanuts and sunflower seeds were roasted and beaten into a paste before being boiled in water; the oil that rose to the surface was then skimmed off. Africans also grated and beat palm kernels and coconut meat and boiled the resulting pulp, skimming the hot oil off the water.