Food Safety Oil and Fat Analysis

Oils and fats are important nutrients in a healthy diet.  Structurally, they are esters of glycerol with three fatty acids.  As such, they are scientifically called triacylglycerols but are commonly referred to in the food industry as triglycerides. 

Although the terms 'oils' and 'fats' are often used interchangeably, they are usually used to distinguish triglycerides in the liquid state at ambient temperatures (oils) from those in the solid state (fats).

The fatty acids found in most consumed oils and fats are composed of long carbon and hydrogen chains, typically containing from 8 to 20 carbon atoms, mainly with even numbers of carbon atoms, although animal fats also contain significant levels of odd-chain fatty acids.