Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/25/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Fats and oils are important components of our daily diet. They are nutritionally important as a rich energy source with about 9 kcal per gram and as a carrier for the oil soluble vitamins. They are frequently used to preserve foods and to make foods more palatable with the desired aroma, appearance and texture. Fats and oils can be derived from either animal fatty tissues or plant sources. Fatty acid esters of glycerol or triglyceride are the primary components of fats and oils. While the supply and demand of edible fats and oils are primarily determined by the economics of each type of oilseed in the industrial nations, they are still largely dictated by the local dietetic culture, regional supply and processing technology available in the developing countries. For instance, in recent years, the urban population in China are quickly catching up with the western diet pattern and have the access to refined- bleached-deodorized (RBD) oils. A majority of the people in China still rely on relatively authentic means to obtain their daily cooking oils. This includes freshly rendered lard from pork fatty tissue or other animal fats and vegetable oils from mechanically pressed oilseeds with minimum refining and purification. As the economy continues to expand, the consumers in the large cities of Asian developing countries will use more of RBD vegetable oils and variety of specialty oils at a premium price, just like those in the industrialized nations. Even though the large population in the rural area will likely retain their ancient and unique dietetic culture, the supply and demand of oils and fats in Asian will certainly experience a dramatic increase and rapid change.