Difference Between Oil and Butter

There are varieties of fats available in the market. Health depends on the type of fats you choose to include in your diet. The most widely used fats are Oils and butter.

It is really important to choose the right fats in your day-to-day life to stay fit and healthy in today’s world.

Oil vs Butter

The main difference between oil and butter is that oil is thinner in consistency than butter at room temperature. Oil consists of unsaturated fatty acids while butter contains more saturated fats. Oil generally has a very unusual or unpleasant taste to it when consumed alone while the butter offers a nice flavour to the taste buds.

Oil vs Butter

Oil is a liquid fat as it is in a liquid state at room temperature. It has a very unpleasant to neutral taste and smell, sometimes can be bothering.

However, it can be very useful in cooking to maximize a particular flavour as the oil in itself does not interfere with other flavours.

Butter, on the other hand, is also referred to as solid fat because it is solid at room temperature. It is a thick condensed form of a dairy product that is consumed day to day and also used for a variety of various reasons.

Butter is rich in saturated fatty acid therefore, it can be taken every day with the meal to gain weight.

Comparison Table Between Oil and Butter

Parameters of ComparisonOilButter
ConsistencyLiquid at room temperatureThicker/solid at room temperature
ColourYellow to colourless (Sometimes depends on the composition or rancidity state of oil) Yellow to pale yellow
CompositionUnsaturated fatty acidsSaturated fatty acids
Effect of heatNo change in liquid state was observed (except if the temperature gets too high it changes to a gaseous state)The rise in temperature results in melting
UseFood, Cooking, medicinal and dermatological, manufacturing of lubricant, paints, aromatherapy, calming, pain reliever, etc. Food and sometimes body care
SourcePlants, seeds, mineral sources, animals, marine sources, etc. Milk

What is Oil?

Oil is made up of unsaturated fatty acids. It is a nonpolar chemical entity that is composed mainly of hydrocarbons.

It has both hydrophobic and lipophilic i.e. it does not mix with water, but easily gets mixed with other oils, oily substances or lipids and fats.

Oils are generally combustible thus, easily catches flame and it has surface-active property. Most of the oils are unsaturated lipids that are in a liquid state at room temperature.

Oils can be obtained from various sources like plants, seeds, animals, vegetables, or petrochemicals.

They can be either be volatile (easily turns into a gaseous state and when kept open at room temperature) or non-volatile (does not easily turn into another state of matter at room temperature).

It can be used for food, fuel, medicinal purposes, dermatological use, traditional skincare, body care and hair care products, lubrication, pain relief, manufacturing of plastics, paints, and other materials and in religious ceremonies/rituals.

Based on different classifications, criteria oils are classified as natural oils, mineral oils, essential oils, purifying oils, cooking oils, volatile oils, solvents, etc.

It mostly comprises two components which are oleic acid and linoleic acid. Based on the presence and percentage of either one of these oils are classified for their medical and dermatological use.

Some oils have the properties of calming, relaxing, pain reliever, aromatherapy, intense body and hair treatments, etc.

What is Butter?

Butter is a dairy product. It is in the form of solid to semi-solid state which is 70-80% fat and 20-25% water produced from the protein and fat components of the churned cream. It consists almost of approximately 80% butterfat.

It is obtained as an inversion of the cream i.e. water in oil type of emulsion resulting due to the separation of salt and water from the buttermilk and its condensation into a solid form.

Here the protein present in the milk, which is most like to be casein acts as an emulsifier, i.e. it is responsible for the binding of the water and fatty substance together in the butter.

Temperature rise can lead to the breakage of the bond giving a liquid state of butter.

At room temperature, it is used as a spread over bread, rotis, parathas and other similar food, added as a topping over curries to add extra flavour and creaminess, baking, melted as a condiment, and used as an ingredient in pan-frying, sauce making and another cooking process.

Butters has also proved to be excellent body care and hair care product. They act as an emollient when applied topically over the body to protect the skin from excessive dryness and promote faster healing.

Its application on hair as a mask for at least 30 minutes helps in dealing with frizz and restores shine to the hairs.

Main Differences Between Oil and Butter

  1. Oils are generally in a liquid state at room temperature while butter is in a solid to semi-solid state at room temperature.
  2. Oil is mostly colourless and neutral to unpleasant taste (except for a few in which the composition of the source of origin have any typical colour or taste to it), while, butter is yellow to pale yellow with a salty or pleasing taste.
  3. Oils have a wider area of use, whereas, butter is mostly used as food or sometimes for body care purposes.
  4. Oils are composed of unsaturated fats, therefore, does not add much to obesity, while, butter contains saturated fats that can cause weight gain.
  5. Oils are combustible and volatile at times whereas butter is non-combustible and non-volatile.

Conclusion

Butters and oils have very different compositions, properties, states of matter, different activity under temperature and pressure, differences in their use and consumption purpose utilization.

Although butter has a pleasing flavour, it is mostly restricted to its use in food and some extent body and hair care.

On the other hand, oils have a very wider and important use in day to day life, apart from food and cooking. They are also used in Ayurveda as a prime and primary product for the treatment, mitigation, prevention and cure of various disorders and diseases.

Hence, it can be proved that oil and butter despite sharing fats in common (different types of fats) still hold a lot of differences between them which separates them apart from each other.

Reference

  1. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/3/e020167.abstract
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0260877406003591
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