Difference Between Vegetable Oil and Refined Oil

Oil is one of the essential ingredients for cooking. It is used by people all over the world. Oils are obtained from natural sources like grains, fruits, or seeds. Different types of oil are available and each one had its specific qualities. Some oil is considered healthy and some others unhealthy.

Vegetable Oil vs Refined Oil

The main difference between vegetable oil and refined oil is that Vegetable oil has been obtained by pressing the seed on the other hand refined oil is produced by a series of treatments of the oil with acids or alkali. Refined oils are also filtered using some substances. They take a lot of steps to prepare. Vegetable oils are normally produced by the traditional pressing method.

Vegetable Oil vs Refined Oil

Vegetable oil is made from seeds and fruits or other vegetable sources. Vegetable oils are not only used for cooking but also used in the cosmetic industry. Olive oil which is a vegetable oil has a prominent role in many DIY face packs and is a major ingredient in many skin care products. Most of these vegetable oils are edible.

Refined oil is extracted using heat. This method results in the extraction of the maximum amount of oil. But, this method has various drawbacks like loss of nutrients. Oil may also lose flavor and aroma when refined. Then the oil is treated chemically to remove odor and color. Refined oil is also said to have bad effects on health.

Comparison Table Between Vegetable Oil and Refined Oil

Parameters of Comparison Vegetable OilRefined Oil
FlavorRich in natural flavorsLack natural flavors
ProductionBy traditional pressingBy mechanical and chemical treatment
Nutritional valueContains good polyunsaturated fatty acid.High in saturated fats

What is Vegetable Oil?

Vegetable oil is fat obtained from plant sources. They are made up of different triglycerides. They are edible and have greater culinary significance. They are used for various other purposes also. Seeds like grape seed, cocoa, soybeans, and fruits like olive and palm are used to make oil. But the soybean oil is normally referred to as vegetable oil in the US.

The manufacturing process of vegetable oil includes pressing the seed to extract oil and purify it. In the traditional method of making vegetable oil a machine is used to crush the seeds. Coconut kernel is dried and then pressed to get the fine quality of coconut oil. Traditionally prepared vegetable oil is good for health and preferred by most consumers.

Screw pressing, Ram pressing, and using Mortar and pestle are some of the methods used for vegetable oil extraction. Vegetable Oil was used to light lamps during ancient times. Olive oil was made in Israel and Palestine during a very early time. Olive oil has multiple uses in the culinary and cosmetic fields.

Vegetable oils have wide application in cuisine. It is used for frying, in shortening it is used to give a crumbled texture to the pastries. It gives texture and enriches the taste of certain foods. Almond, sesame, and olive oil are used in seasoning salads. Spices like pepper have oil-soluble flavor compounds that can be brought out only by adding oil.

What is Refined Oil?

Refined oils were initially produced to meet the increasing oil demand. Since natural methods took a long time and the amount of oil produced is also less. So, the alternative method using machines and solvents to extract and purify oil was practiced. Moreover, refined oil had good color and less turbidity so it was preferred.

People started believing that these refined oils are good for health initially. Refined oil production took less time and the price of the oil was also less. This attracted many people into buying refined oil. This refining process spread soon and was followed in many parts of the world. The refining process leads to the production of a high quantity of oil rather than quality.

Refined oil has a very low nutritional quality and it is very bad for health. The refining process involves a step in which the oil is exposed to high temperature, this leads to the destruction of many natural nutrients in oil thus lowering the health standards. The natural aroma and flavor of the oil are also destroyed in this process.

Refined oil is highly adulterated with palm oil. Palm oil is rich in saturated fatty acid which is extremely bad for cardiac health. Refined oil has high self-life than its unrefined counterparts. Adding refined oil to the diet daily poses the threat of getting lethal diseases like cancer, arteriosclerosis, etc. Diabetes mellitus, Reproductive and gastrointestinal issues, and immune disorders are also caused by refined oils.

Main Differences Between Vegetable Oil and Refined Oil

  1. Vegetable oil is usually prepared by the traditional pressing process. Refined oil is produced by mechanical extraction and chemical purification. Vegetable oils that are produced by refining are called refined vegetable oil.
  2. Vegetable oil is rich in flavor because the natural extraction does not involve chemical treatment, while refined oil has very less flavor
  3. Vegetable oil has a natural aroma. Coconut oil has the aroma of coconut but, refined oil loses its aroma in the purification process
  4. Vegetable oil is rich in nutrition while, refined oil is not very nutritious
  5. Vegetable oil is healthy and can be used in cooking but refined oil has severe health effects and must be avoided


Vegetable oil and Refined oil are produced by two different methods. But, refined oils may be refined vegetable oil that was produced by the refining process. Traditionally produced vegetable oil is good for health but refined oil is harmful. People choose refined oil due to its low price and availability. But they are the major cause of atherosclerosis and several types of cancer.

Oil is a crucial component of a healthy diet. But the choice must be made wisely. Oils with good benefits are ideal for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Using refined oil can only worsen the previously existing diseases and may also cause new diseases. Oil like olive and coconut oil is good for the skin.


  1. https://aocs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1007/s11746-001-0232-0
  2. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781003040248/industrial-uses-vegetable-oil-sevim-erhan
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