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Is corn oil saturated or unsaturated?

Cooking oils consist mainly of triacylglycerol which are compounds derived from glycerol and three fatty acids molecules.

They may also contain some amounts of free fatty acids, tocopherols, phystosterol  and antioxidants.

The Fatty acids molecules that make up cooking oil could be classified either as saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids

The nature of fatty acids in cooking oil confers several different properties to the cooking oil including its thermal stability. The presence of certain fatty acids in particular cooking oil also has important health effect.

Corn oil saturation

Corn oil is a type of oil that is extracted from the germ of corn kernels and it is used in cooking or making cosmetics

Corn oil is made up of a mixture of different types of fatty acid molecules both saturated and unsaturated. Most of the fatty acid molecules in corn oil are polyunsaturated while the rest are made up both monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids.

Fatty acids in corn oil

A larger percentage of of corn oil is made up of polyunsaturated fatty acid linoleic acid.

The following are the major fatty acids that can be found in corn oil.

  • Linoleic acid: linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid which means that it has the presence of more than one double bond in its structures. Linoleic acid makes up a large proportion of the fatty acid molecules in corn oil. It is also an omega 6 fatty acids.
  • oleic acid: Oleic acid has only one double bond in its molecular structure and therefore it is a monounsaturated fatty acid. This fatty acid molecule also belong to the group known as omega 9 fatty acid
  • Palmitic acid: The absence of double bonds in palmitic acid’s molecular structure makes it a saturated fatty acid. It is also a non essential fatty acid as the body is able to synthesize it.

Fatty acids that can also be found in corn oil in smaller quantities include, stearic acid, alpha linoleic acid and trace amounts of several others.

Smoke point of corn oil

The smoke point of a cooking oil is that temperature where the oil begins to break down as can be shown by when the oil starts to smoke.

The presence of certain types of saturated or unsaturated fatty acids is one of the factors that determines its smoke point.

Corn oil has a smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit and because of its high smoke point can be used for deep frying.

Corn oil is neutral oil

A neutral oil a cooking oil that doesn’t impart the flavor of the food being cooked. Corn oil is known to have a bland taste . They are also used for salad dressings

How is corn oil made

These oils are gotten from the kernels of corn through a process of mechanical extraction and often using hexane.

Under high mechanical pressure, the corn oil is extracted from the corn kernels

When corn oil is extracted, it can either be refined or bottled in its natural state. Refining corn oil helps remove impurities

Refining corn oil includes processes like deodorization where the taste and smell of corn oil is improved , and winterization which ensures the corn oil stays liquid at cold temperatures.

Refined corn oil has a higher smoke point than unrefined corn oil.

Corn oil also has a more neutral flavour after it has been refined, and lasts longer when stored.

Saturated vs. unsaturated fatty acids

Fatty acids are molecules containing numerous carbon atoms held together by covalent bonds, fatty acids can either be saturated as defined by the presence of no double bond in their structure or unsaturated when there is the presence of one or more double bonds in their structure.

The unsaturated fatty acid can further be classified in monounsaturated fatty acids, with only one double bond in their structure, and polyunsaturated fatty acids with two or more double bonds.

Another classification of fatty acids can be essential or non essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are fatty acid molecules that cannot be synthesize by the body therefore requiring external sources for them. The non essential fatty acids however cannot be synthesized by the body

Saturated fats are found mostly from animal products, however plants products have been found to be high unsaturated fats

The presence of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids in cooking oil as well as their relative proportions has effects on the properties of the cooking oil and also certain health significance.

Saturated fats are more solid at room temperature.

Among other factors, the smoke point of different cooking oils are also determined by the percentage of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.

The heat stability of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids may give cooking oils with a higher proportion of saturated fats and monounsaturated fats  a higher smoke point compared to others that are  saturated fats.

Saturated fats have also been linked to several heart diseases

Unsaturated fats hep lower cholesterol and therefore have been found to be healthier than saturated fats that causes an insecrease in the cholesterol levels in the body

Therefore, replacing saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fatty acids have been said to reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases.


Foods that contain fat including cooking oils are usually made up of different types of fatty acids, and they could have varying proportions of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids.

oils usually contains a mixture of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, however, the predominant type of fatty acids determines its properties.

There are a couple of things that you may like to know about the type of oil you are making use of, the smoke point and its saturation qualities.

The types of fatty acids that a particular cooking oil and the balance of their ratios have been found to have significant health benefits.

which determines how it is used in cooking and the type of fatty acid in a cooking These numerous tiny microscopic molecules found in cooking oil both as part of triacylglycerol or freely known as fatty acids can be of classified with further classification.


Is corn oil healthy: Healthline

Corn oil: Britannica

Know your cooking oil smoke point: Verywellfit