Introduction to industrial oil crops

Thomas A. McKeon, Douglas G. Hayes, David F. Hildebrand, Randall J. Weselake

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Vegetable oils are derived from the seeds or fruit of certain crops and are most often used for food or animal feed. These oils are composed of triacylglycerols (TAG) and trace amounts of various organic compounds including sterols and antioxidants. For most of the commodity vegetable oils, the TAG are acylated with varying proportions of the same five fatty acids, the two saturates palmitate (16:0) and stearate (18:0), the monounsaturate oleate (18:1Δ9), and the polyunsaturates linoleate (18:2Δ9,12) and α-linolenate (18:3Δ9,12,15) (double bonds all cis) (Fig. 1.1). Even though they are primarily consumed as food, for thousands of years the oils containing these fatty acids have also served in certain nonfood applications. The oils, hydrolyzates of the oils, or alkyl esters prepared from transesterification of the oils have been used in producing fuel for lighting, lubricants, soaps, cosmetics, and lacquers. These end uses have been supplied by seed oils including what are now major commodity oils derived from palm (e.g., Elaeis guineensis), soybean (Glycine max), canola (Brassica napus), sunflower (Helianthus annuus), cottonseed (Gossypium hirsutum), olive (Olea europaea), corn (Zea mays), peanut (Arachis hypogaea), and other seeds, as well as animal fats.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndustrial Oil Crops
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Feb 23 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 AOCS Press.


  • Fatty acid biosynthesis
  • Fatty acids
  • Genetic engineering
  • Industrial oil crops
  • Oil crops
  • Seed oils
  • Triacylglycerols
  • Vegetable oils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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