Because vegetable oils have become a vital part of our daily lives, we at Supplements101 have decided to educate our readers on the various health benefits and challenges that come with the usage, consumption, and production of vegetable oils.
Read on to find out more, but first, check out some of the most intriguing statistics and facts we could find on vegetable oil.
Top 10 Vegetable Oil Facts
- Vegetable oils contain a high level of polyunsaturated fats.
- Olive oil is the healthiest vegetable oil.
- Sunflower oil was the most expensive vegetable oil in the world in 2020.
- The global vegetable oil production reached 209.14 million metric tons in 2020/2021.
- Vegetable oil is ideal for cooking, as it has a high smoking point.
- Vegetable oil companies supply soap manufacturers with this vital ingredient.
- Vegetable oil lowers the chance of developing breast cancer.
- The use of hydrogenated oil can lead to high blood sugar.
- The global vegetable oil market was worth $232.3 billion in 2020.
- Soybean oil is the most consumed form of edible oil in the US.
General Vegetable Oil Statistics and Facts
Information presented here touches upon all the major types of vegetable oil, their ingredients, health benefits, etc.
Let’s have a look.
1. Vegetable oils contain a high level of polyunsaturated fats.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are the two forms of polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils.
According to the statistics on vegetable oil benefits, omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory properties, while omega-6s increase inflammation.
2. Soybean oil has 6.21 times more polyunsaturated fatty acids than palm oil per 3.5 oz.
When it comes to palm oil vs. soybean oil opposition, soybean oil seems to be a better choice for those predisposed to heart disease. This type of oil contains more heart-healthy fats that boost “good” (HDL) cholesterol and reduce “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels.
Additionally, soybean oil has 68.26% less saturated fatty acids (the unhealthy fatty acids associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke) than palm oil.
3. Eating too many unsaturated fats can lead to severe health conditions.
According to vegetable oil facts, the unbalanced level of omega-3, omega-6, and other monounsaturated fats can lead to several health conditions, such as chronic inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and cardiovascular problems.
4. Vegetable oil has anti-oxidizing properties.
Vegetable oils like peanut and almond oil are rich in vitamin E, and this vitamin helps protect the body from cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, or stroke.
5. Olive oil is the healthiest vegetable oil.
Up to five years ago, coconut oil was hailed as the best for health. However, new studies looked deeper into the vegetable oil nutrition label of different cooking oils and analyzed how their contents affect health.
About 90% of coconut oil is saturated fat, making it unhealthier than it had so far been considered. Excessive saturated fat intake (20 g per day for women and 30 g for men) stimulates cholesterol production and increases the risk of heart disease.
On the other hand, olive oil contains a higher percentage of monounsaturated fats, which are healthier, help control bad cholesterol, and keep heart disease at bay.
6. Extra-virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat in the world.
(Healthline, Live Science)
Extra-virgin olive oil is a flavorful, fruity, unrefined oil collected after the first pressing of the olives.
When you compare the extra-virgin olive oil nutrition label to any other vegetable oil nutrition label, it quickly becomes clear extra-virgin olive oil has a higher monounsaturated fat content (73% per tablespoon) than any other cooking oil.
It’s also a rich source of polyphenols such as oleuropein and oleocanthal, which prevent bad cholesterol from oxidation, improve heart health, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
7. Sunflower oil was the most expensive vegetable oil in the world in 2020.
The year 2020 brought about drastic changes in the vegetable oils industry. Sunflower oil surpassed rapeseed oil in the price for the first time in four years, reaching up to $835 per tonne. This is about $100 higher than the previous year.
The reasons for price increase were sunflower scarcity (due to decline in sunflower harvest in the two major sunflower oil producers, Ukraine and Russia) and sunflower oil’s nutritional superiority over other cooking oils such as palm oil, rapeseed oil, soybean oil, etc.
Production of Vegetable Oil: Stats and Facts
This section covers everything you need to know about vegetable oil production.
Read on and discover the freshest statistics on the most popular types of vegetable oil.
8. The global vegetable oil production reached 209.14 million metric tons in 2020/2021.
In the previous season(2019/2020), this figure amounted to 207.26 million metric tons.
9. 19.27 million metric tons of sunflower oil was produced in 2020/2021.
Sunflower oil is extracted from sunflower seeds, the major producer of which was Ukraine, with 16.5 million metric tons in 2019/2020, global vegetable oil market statistics.
10. Palm oil makes up 35% of the global edible oil supply.
(WWF-UK, Time, Statista)
Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil harvested from the fruits of oil palms. Currently, 35% of the world’s edible oil production comes from palm oil.
Palm oil is used across various industries for producing different food and non-food products, such as deodorants, lipstick, pizza, etc.
Statistics suggest that global palm oil production increased from 73.23 million metric tons in 2019/2020 to 75.45 million metric tons in 2020/2021.
11. The global soybean oil production amounted to 60.26 million metric tons in 2020/2021.
(Statista, Time, USSOY)
Soybean oil is a type of vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of soybean plants. It’s one of the most popular cooking oils due to its high smoke point and rich polyunsaturated fat content.
12. The global production of peanut oil reached 6.12 million metric tons for the 2020/2021 season due to the many benefits of this vegetable oil.
Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil, is another vegetable oil extracted from the peanut plant’s edible seeds.
Peanut oil has a very high smoking point, making it ideal for frying.
13. Global cottonseed oil production amounted to 41.80 million metric tons in the 2020/2021 season.
This is a slight decrease compared with the figure recorded in the previous season—44.42 million metric tons.
Cottonseed oil is high on the list of vegetable oils, as it is extracted from the cottonseed plant and refined to remove gossypol.
Gossypol is a naturally occurring toxin of the cottonseed plant that protects it from insects and gives it the yellow color. Therefore, the unrefined form of cottonseed oil can be used as an insecticide.
14. The global production of coconut oil hit 3.57 million metric tons in the 2020/2021 season.
Again, this reflects a mini drop from the 3.60 million metric tons recorded in the season before this.
Coconut oil is another form of edible oil, and it’s extracted from the meat of coconuts. Many global coconut oil importers recognize its health benefits in preventing heart conditions, controlling blood sugar, reducing stress, and aiding weight loss.
15. The global production of olive oil equated to 3.20 million metric tons in the 2020/2021 season.
Olive oil is extracted from the olive plant and is composed primarily of monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. The oil has anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory properties and may help fight Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the global vegetable oil industry statistics, olive oil production was at 3.13 million metric tons in the prior season.
Uses of Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oils aren’t used only for cooking. They also found use in many other industries—from food to cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.
The following paragraphs explore the uses of vegetable oil in various expected and unexpected industries.
16. Vegetable oil is ideal for cooking, as it has a high smoking point.
When it comes to preparing food with vegetable oils, the facts show that the high-fat content in vegetable oils makes them perfect for cooking.
The high-fat content in vegetable oils equals less free fatty acids, directly affecting their smoking point. Likewise, a higher number of free fatty acids implies a lower melting point.
17. Vegetable oil is used in the production of pet food.
Animals need omega-3 and omega-6 fats as they play a crucial role in developing and maintaining healthy skin and fur.
The vegetable oil demand is on the rise as it is added to pet food to supply pets with omega-3 and omega-6 fats and improve their food’s overall digestibility.
18. Manufacturers use vegetable oil to produce perfumes.
To perfume creators, vegetable oil is the perfect substitute for alcohol when creating a non-alcoholic perfume. This specifically benefits people who might be allergic or whose skin may be sensitive.
Olive oil, sunflower oil, and sesame oil are some of the most commonly used vegetable oils in perfumery.
19. Vegetable oil companies supply soap manufacturers with this vital ingredient.
The presence of vegetable oils in soap making gives soaps their solid or liquid structure at room temperature, depending on the alkaline structure they are mixed with.
When combined with the sodium alkaline solution, a solid soap is formed. On the other hand, when a potassium alkaline solution is used, liquid soap is created.
20. Vegetable oil is used in painting.
Vegetable oils are used as film-formers that protect the surface of a painting. Soybean and linseed oil are some of the most commonly used forms of vegetable oil in painting.
21. Vegetable oil is used as a substitute for petroleum-based fuel.
Besides using vegetable oils for consumption and cosmetics, we can also use them as fuel.
Namely, with little tweaks to combat high viscosity, low atomization, and heavy particulate emission, diesel engines can be adjusted to run on vegetable oil.
Health Benefits of Vegetable Oil: Stats and Facts
The health benefits of vegetable oil are quite a number. What’s more, each vegetable oil tends to have a unique property beneficial to our health. This section explores these benefits in more detail to guide you better on which oils to use for what.
22. Vegetable oil may lower the risk of heart problems.
Both saturated and unsaturated fats are essential in different proportions. Excess saturated fats have been linked to cardiovascular diseases such as increased blood sugar levels, increased cholesterol levels, etc.
However, most vegetable oils predominantly contain unsaturated fats and are liquid at room temperature. These kinds of vegetable oils are safe for consumption.
23. Vegetable oil lowers the chance of developing breast cancer.
Research has shown that the omega-3 fats contained in vegetable oils have anticancer properties. According to the recent statistics on the different vegetable oil types for health preservation, the oil helps reduce breast cancer risk.
24. Vegetable oil helps boost the immune system.
(Better Health Channel)
Lauric acid is a substance found in most vegetable oils. It has antibacterial properties, as it forms an environment that’s hostile to viruses.
25. Coconut oil helps increase metabolism.
Vegetable oil consumption statistics show that both coconut and olive oil possess phenolic compounds. These compounds have anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory properties, and they also help improve the body’s metabolic rate.
26. Vegetable oil can be helpful in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
Vegetable oils such as sesame oil contain tyrosine, affecting serotonin activity in the body and brain.
The presence of serotonin makes them capable of lifting one’s mood by flooding the body with hormones and enzymes that make people happy, as revealed by the vegetable oil statistics.
A lack of serotonin, on the other hand, has been associated with depression.
27. Vegetable oil helps cure acute pancreatitis.
Vegetable oils such as olive and fish oil have high hydroxytyrosol and oleic acid content. This affects the development of cellular mechanisms, which may lead to acute pancreatitis.
28. Vegetable oils have antibacterial activities.
The presence of linolenic acid in vegetable oil fats helps disrupt harmful bacteria activities, as supported by the vegetable oil facts derived from recent research.
29. There are conflicting reports about the effects of palm oil on heart health.
(Healthline, NCBI, PubMed)
Palm oil, the most popular and least expensive cooking oil, consists of 50% saturated, 40% monounsaturated, and 10% polyunsaturated fat.
Some sources suggest that palm oil lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol levels, positively affecting heart health.
Other studies claim just the opposite. According to them, palm oil significantly contributes to obesity, increased LDL cholesterol levels, and increased heart disease risk due to the high saturated fatty acids content.
30. Vegetable oils may help reduce osteoporosis-related bone loss.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs due to a loss in bone mineral density, leading to bone mass loss.
Vegetable oil supplements such as coconut oil are loaded with antioxidants that help lower bone loss and improve bone volume, making the use of vegetable oil in supplements extremely popular.
31. Linolenic acid found in vegetable oil destroys gastric disease bacteria.
(UC San Diego Health)
Stomach ulcers are caused by anti-inflammatory drugs and bacteria activities in the stomach that damage the stomach lining.
Vegetable oils help improve digestion by absorbing the vitamins needed for destroying harmful bacteria in the stomach.
Vegetable Oil Production: Statistics and Facts
There are various vegetable oil production processes. This section examines the effects of these processes on vegetable oil quality, health benefits, etc.
32. The use of hydrogenated oil can lead to high blood sugar.
Hydrogenated oils affect blood sugar levels by increasing insulin resistance.
An increase in insulin resistance affects the body’s ability to properly utilize it when regulating blood sugar, increasing its level.
33. Hydrogenated vegetable oil helps in the creation of trans fats in the body.
Hydrogenation of vegetable oils is a process that only occurs during high temperatures.
However, heating vegetable oils above their smoke point helps create trans fats, which have been associated with dangerous health conditions, such as increased cholesterol levels, heart diseases, and stroke.
34. Hydrogenated oil may cause chronic inflammation.
The vegetable oil facts confirm that acute inflammation is the body’s immune response to illnesses, infections, and injuries.
Chronic inflammation can lead to conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
35. Cold-pressed oil retains more nutrients during extraction compared to its hydrogenated counterpart.
During the refinement process of vegetable oil, essential substances such as lauric acid are lost. However, cold-pressed vegetable oil retains most of its original nutrients.
36. Chemical content used in processing hydrogenated vegetable oil harms the human body.
To increase the shelf life of vegetable oil, some manufacturers treat them with chemicals and bleaching agents. These chemicals leave harmful residues that cause damage to the human body.
Conversely, cold-pressed oil doesn’t require any refinement after extraction, making it a healthier option.
37. When it comes to cold-pressed vegetable oils, facts reveal that they enhance the production of good cholesterol.
Cholesterol is produced naturally by the body but is also consumed through fatty foods. Consuming cold-pressed vegetable oil that mainly comprises unsaturated fats is an excellent way to keep cholesterol levels in check.
However, consuming saturated fats (which contain cholesterol) can increase the body’s cholesterol level, increasing the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
Vegetable Oil Industry: Statistics and Facts
In this section, we present the most relevant information about the global organic vegetable oil market. Discover everything you need to know about growth, manufacturing, and forecasts.
38. The global vegetable oil market was worth $232.3 billion in 2020.
This is an impressive jump, considering the vegetable oil industry had a revenue of only $86.5 billion in 2015.
This isn’t surprising, as vegetable oils have diverse applications across many fields that significantly increase the vegetable oil market size.
39. The US vegetable oil market is projected to hit $130 billion in value by 2027.
(Allied Market Research)
Soybean oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, canola oil, and corn oil form the backbone of the US vegetable oils industry.
The US vegetable oil market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% between 2021 and 2027, grossing an additional $36.35 billion in revenue, reaching $130 billion by 2027. This is a considerable increase from 2019 when the US vegetable oil industry was worth $98.5 billion.
This growth would probably have been more significant if there weren’t for the negative impact of COVID-19 on the industry.
40. Palm oil currently holds the largest share of the vegetable oil market.
Palm oil accounts for over a third of the vegetable oil market. According to statistics on vegetable oil consumption from 2020/2021, a whopping 75.45 million metric tons of palm oil were consumed in that season.
This makes it the most consumed type of vegetable oil worldwide.
Soybean oil (60.27 million metric tons) and rapeseed oil (27.64 million metric tons) represent the other large markets when it comes to global vegetable oil consumption.
41. Greece uses 60% of its land for olive cultivation.
(Spartan Rolling Hills)
Greece is one of the largest producers of olive oil in the world. The Peloponnese (that accounts for 65% of Greece’s olive oil production), Crete, Aegean, and Ionian regions have the ideal climate for growing olive oil.
42. Extra-virgin olive oil accounts for 80% of olive oil production in Greece.
(Greek Reporter, Spartan Rolling Hills)
Greece exports close to 50% of its olive oil production,much of which goes to the EU.
According to statistics on Greek vegetable oil sales in 2020, Germany was the biggest importer of Greek olive oil that year, with 14,907 tons.
Other large Greek olive oil importers included the UK (2,698 tons), Austria (2,578 tons), France (2,032 tons), etc.
43. Asia-Pacific produces the most palm oil globally.
(Grand View Research)
Statistics on vegetable oil production by country show that countries such as Malaysia, China, and Indonesia are the top producers of palm oil and many other types of vegetable oil.
44. Biodiesel is increasing the cost of vegetable oil and decreasing the cost of animal feed.
(UCS USA, Yahoo! Finance)
The increasing demand for vegetable oils in the biofuel industry is one of the top drivers of the expansion vegetable oil market in 2021.
As more soybean is used for oil, there’s more raw material (oil-extracting process byproducts) for animal feed, leading to a fall in animal feed prices.
45. The global palm oil market could rise to $78 billion by 2027.
The vast applications and industrial demand for palm oil are helping drive the market, as revealed by statistics on vegetable oil sales.
Palm oil has uses in cosmetics, cooking, pharmaceuticals, as well as in making biofuels. What’s more, it’s poised to grow at a CAGR of 3.1% between 2020–2027.
46. The use of vegetable oil in the food industry, biofuel industry, and the increasing awareness of its health benefits are the key drivers of vegetable oil sales.
(GlobeNewswire, ResearchGate, Reuters)
Vegetable oil is one of the most widely used raw materials and it’s been increasingly used in food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetic products.
Another industry has recently started contributing to the vegetable oil market growth—the biofuel industry. As the world aspires to go green in every aspect of life to limit climate disasters, the biofuel manufacturers’ demand for soybean and canola oil steadily grows.
47. The top five global organic vegetable oil market players are Cargill, Nutiva, EFKO Group, Catania Spagna, and Viva Labs.
Other dominant players in the organic vegetable oils industry in 2021 include Aryan International, Daabon Organic, NOW Foods, Adams Group, Dasanxiang, and Henan Lvda.
Vegetable Oil Consumption: Statistics and Facts
We all know the world consumes vast amounts of oil on a daily basis. Let’s take a look at the most important facts and statistics about vegetable oil consumption in 2020 and discover just how much and which types of vegetable oil are most commonly consumed around the world.
48. Palm oil is most commonly found in food products.
Slowly but surely, vegetable oils have gradually replaced animal fats in our diets. This stems mainly from their high unsaturated fat content.
Research shows that vegetable oils, such as palm and rapeseed oil, are mainly used for food consumption.
49. Rapeseed oil is widely used for cooking.
On the question of palm oil vs. canola oil (also known as rapeseed oil), canola oil has a higher omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This makes it ideal for human consumption due to the health benefits provided by the omega-3s and omega-6s.
50. China consumed the most vegetable oil in 2013.
According to statistics on vegetable oil consumption by country, China, India, and the US were the largest vegetable oil consumers in 2013.
China topped the list, having consumed 11,167 kt, and India and the US closely followed.
Countries with the lowest vegetable oil consumption included Maldives, Lesotho, and the Bahamas, with 1.06 kt, 2.06 kt, and 2.07 kt, respectively.
51. Soybean oil is the most consumed edible oil in the US, according to vegetable oils consumption statistics.
Soybean oil has a high smoking point and is also rich in polyunsaturated fats, which have been renowned for their importance in heart health and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
In 2020, the US citizens consumed about 10.43 million metric tons of soybean oil.
52. The US is one of the top three global soybean producers.
Most American states infamous for soybean production are located in the Midwest (Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, etc.).
53. India remains the largest importer of vegetable oil worldwide.
India needs 25 million metric tonnes of vegetable oil yearly to meet the local demand of the current estimated vegetable oil consumption per person — 19 kg.
The data on edible oil consumption by country shows that only 10.5 million tonnes are produced locally, and the rest is imported. Reports further indicate that China is the second country with the most significant vegetable oil imports yearly.
How is vegetable oil made?
Vegetable oil is made from seeds of plants or the fleshy part of some fruits, e.g., olives. The oil content of these seeds and fruits may range between 1–60% and can be extracted locally or industrially.
Naturally, some vegetable oils such as castor oil are poisonous for human consumption unless they are refined. In such a case, the oils are used as insecticides or fertilizers, depending on the toxic content.
How is vegetable oil produced?
Vegetable oil can be produced in two ways: mechanical cold-pressing or mechanical treatment.
Cold-pressed vegetable oils are mechanically pressed together at low temperatures to extract the seeds’ oil content. After that, the extracted oils are sieved, packaged, and ready for consumption.
Conversely, hydrogenated oils are produced by introducing chemicals and bleaching agents to purify and improve their shelf life.
What is the hydrogenation of vegetable oil in nutrition?
Hydrogenation is the process used to improve the shelf life of vegetable oil and maintain its nutritious value. It makes vegetable oil resistant to oxidation and improves its taste and texture.
However, the hydrogenation of vegetable oils creates trans-fats, a type of unsaturated fat harmful to human health.
What are the benefits of vegetable oil?
Vegetable oil helps with the following:
- Heart problems
- Breast cancer
- Immune health
- Anxiety and depression
- Acute pancreatitis
- Stomach ulcers
Over the years, vegetable oil has found immense applications across various industries such as personal care and cosmetics, food and beverage, automotive industry, pharmaceuticals, etc.
The vegetable oil statistics show that these oils can be a great source of unsaturated fats and vitamins E and D when adequately extracted and consumed.
- Allied Market Research
- Grand View Research
- Greek Reporter
- Helgi Library
- Live Science
- Spartan Rolling Hills
- The BBC
- The Courier
- UCS USA
- Yahoo! Finance