This list of vegetable oils includes all vegetable oils that are extracted from plants by placing the relevant part of the plant under pressure to extract the oil. Although most plants contain some oil, only the oil from certain major oil crops  complemented by a few dozen minor oil crops is widely used and traded.
Oils may also be extracted from plants by dissolving parts of plants in water or another solvent, and distilling the oil. Oils extracted in this manner are called essential oils. Essential oils often have different properties and uses than pressed vegetable oils. Oils can also be made by infusing parts of plants in a base oil a process known as maceration.
Vegetable oils can be classified in several ways, for example:
By source: most, but not all vegetable oils are extracted from the fruits or seeds of plants, and the oils may be classified by grouping oils from similar plants, such as "nut oils".
By use: oils from plants are used in cooking, for fuel, for cosmetics, for medical purposes, and for other industrial purposes.
The vegetable oils are grouped below in common classes of use.
Pecan oil, valued as a food oil, but requiring fresh pecans for good quality oil.
Pistachio oil, strongly flavored oil, particularly for use in salads.
Walnut oil, used for its flavor, also used by Renaissance painters in oil paints.
Oils from melon and gourd seeds
Members of the cucurbitaceae include gourds, melons, pumpkins, and squashes. Seeds from these plants are noted for their oil content, but little information is available on methods of extracting the oil. In most cases, the plants are grown as food, with dietary use of the oils as a byproduct of using the seeds as food.
Bottle gourd oil, extracted from the seeds of the Lagenaria siceraria, widely grown in tropical regions throughout the world. Used medicinally and as an edible oil.
Buffalo gourd oil, from the seeds of the Cucurbita foetidissima, a vine with a rank odor, native to southwest North America.
Pumpkin seed oil, a specialty cooking oil, produced in Austria and Slovenia. Poor tolerance for high temperatures.
Watermelon seed oil, pressed from the seeds of Citrullus vulgaris. Traditionally used in cooking in West Africa.
A number of oils are used as food supplements, for their nutrient content or medical effect.
Acai oil, from the fruit of several species of the Açaí Palm (Euterpe). Grown in the Amazon region. Similar to grape seed oil. They are used in cosmetics and as a food supplement.
Blackcurrant seed oil, used as a food supplement, because of high content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Borage seed oil, similar to blackcurrant seed oil, used primarily medicinally.
A number of the oils listed above are used for biofuel (biodiesel and Straight Vegetable Oil) in addition to having other uses. A number of oils are used only as biofuel.
Although diesel engines were invented, in part, with vegetable oil in mind, diesel fuel is almost exclusively petroleum-based. Rising oil prices have made biodiesel more attractive. Vegetable oils are evaluated for use as a biofuel based on:
Suitability as a fuel, based on flash point, energy content, viscosity, combustion products and other factors
Cost, based in part on yield, effort required to grow and harvest, and post-harvest processing cost
Multipurpose oils also used as biofuel
The oils listed immediately below are all (primarily) used for other purposes - all but tung oil are edible - but have been considered for use as biofuel.
Castor oil, lower cost than many candidates. Kinematic viscosity may be an issue.
Coconut oil (copra oil), promising for local use in places that produce coconuts.
Corn oil, appealing because of the abundance of maize as a crop.
Cottonseed oil, shown in one study not to be cost effective when compared with standard diesel.
False flax oil, from Camelina sativa, used in Europe in oil lamps until the 18th century.
Hemp oil, relatively low in emissions. High flash point. Production is problematic in some countries because of its association with marijuana.
Soybean oil, not economical as a fuel crop, but appealing as a byproduct of soybean crops for other uses.
Sunflower oil, suitable as a fuel, but not necessarily cost effective.
Tung oil, referenced in several lists of vegetable oils that are suitable for biodiesel.
Inedible oils used only or primarily as biofuel
These oils are extracted from plants that are cultivated solely for producing oil-based biofuel. These, plus the major oils described above, have received much more attention as fuel oils than other plant oils.
Algae oil, recently developed by MIT scientist Isaac Berzin. Byproduct of a smokestack emission reduction system.
Copaiba, an oleoresin tapped from species of genus Copaifera. Used in Brazil as a major source of biodiesel.
Honge oil, pioneered as a biofuel by Udipi Shrinivasa in Bangalore, India.
Jatropha oil, widely used in India as a fuel oil. Has attracted strong proponents for use as a biofuel.
Jojoba oil, from the Simmondsia chinensis, a desert shrub.
Milk bush, popularized by chemist Melvin Calvin in the 1950s. Researched in the 1980s by Petrobras, the Brazilian national petroleum company.
Petroleum nut oil, from the Petroleum nut native to the Philippines. The Philippine government once explored the use of the petroleum nut as a biofuel.
Drying oils are vegetable oils that dry to a hard finish at normal room temperature. Such oils are used as the basis of oil paints, and in other paint and wood finishing applications. In addition to the oils listed here, walnut, sunflower and safflower oil are also considered to be drying oils.
Dammar oil, from the Canarium strictum, used in paint as a drying agent. Can also be used as in oil lamps.
Linseed oil, used in paints, also suitable for human consumption.
Poppyseed oil, similar in usage to linseed oil but with better color stability.
Stillingia oil (also called Chinese vegetable tallow oil), obtained by solvent from the seeds of Sapium sebiferum. Used as a drying agent in paints and varnishes.
Vernonia oil is produced from the seeds of the Vernonia galamensis. It is composed of 73-80% vernolic acid, which can be used to make epoxies for manufacturing adhesives, varnishes and paints, and industrial coatings.
A number of pressed vegetable oils are either not edible, or not used as an edible oil.
Apple seed oil, used in cosmetics for its hydrating properties.
Balanos oil, pressed from the seeds of Balanites aegyptiaca, was used in ancient Egypt as the base for perfumes.
Bladderpod oil, pressed from the seeds of Lesquerella fendleri, native to North America. Rich in lesquerolic acid, which is chemically similar to the ricinoleic acid found in castor oil. Many industrial uses. Possible substitute for castor oil as it requires much less moisture than castor beans.
Brucea javanica oil, extracted from the seeds of the Brucea javanica. Used medicinally.
Crambe oil, extracted from the seeds of the Crambe abyssinica, is used as an industrial lubricant, a corrosion inhibitor, and as an ingredient in the manufacture of synthetic rubber.
Cuphea oil, from a number of species of genre Cuphea. Of interest as sources of medium chain triglycerides.
Jojoba oil, used in cosmetics as an alternative to whale oil spermaceti.
Lemon oil, similar in fragrance to the fruit. One of a small number of cold pressed essential oils. Used medicinally, as an antiseptic, and in cosmetics.
Mango oil, pressed from the stones of the mango fruit, is high in stearic acid, and can be used for making soap.
Mowrah butter, from the seeds of the Madhuca latifolia and Madhuca longifolia, both native to India. Crude Mowrah butter is used as a fat for spinning wool, for making candles and soap. The refined fat is used as an edible fat and vegetable ghee in India.
Ojon oil, extracted from the nut of the American palm (Elaeis oleifera). Used as a skin and hair treatment. Oil extracted from both the nut and husk is also used as an edible oil in Central and South America.
Orange oil, like lemon oil, cold pressed rather than distilled. Consists of 90% d-Limonene. Used as a fragrance, in cleaning products and in flavoring foods.
Palm oil, extracted from the kernel of the palm fruit. High in saturated fats. Popular in West African and Brazilian cuisine.
Rosehip seed oil, used primarily in skin care products, particularly for aging or damaged skin. Produced in Chile.
Sea buckthorn oil, derived from Hippophae rhamnoides, produced in northern China, used primarily medicinally.
Shea butter, used primarily in skin care products.
Fatty acids discusses the components of most vegetable oils
INCI explains naming conventions for oils used in cosmetics and soaps
list of macerated oils
Bulk Oil Trading. Retrieved on 2006-07-25. This site was very helpful in making this list more comprehensive.
R.O. Adlof and G. Duchateau. Seed oil translations (PDF). Lists seed oil names in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Portuguese.
Hormel Foods: Other Oils and Fats Cooking Guide. Retrieved on 2006-07-25. Lists smoke points of various oils.
Vegetable Oil Yields and Characteristics. Retrieved on 2006-07-21. Compiles useful information on vegetable oils from a number of sources.
Yokayo Biofuels: History of Biodiesel. Retrieved on 2006-07-25. Gives a good overview of biodiesel and the oils that are used to produce it. Yokayo is a California-based company that sells biofuel.
Castor Oil. Retrieved on 2006-07-25. The site contains a large set of resources on castor oil and many other oils, particularly those used to make biodiesel.
Botanical Garden of Indian Republic (BGIR) (April 5, 2004). Database of Oil Yielding Plants. Botanical Survey of India. Retrieved on 2006-11-17. List of about 300 plants that grow in India, and that yield oil. Also gives common names in languages spoken in India.
H.F. Macmillan. "Oils and Vegetable Fats", Handbook of Tropical Plants. Herbdata New Zealand. Old reference with basic information on an unusually large variety of plant oils.
Notes and references
^ Economic Research Service (1995-2006). Oil Crops Outlook. United States Department of Agriculture. This publication is available via email subscription.
^ B.L. Axtell from research by R.M. Fairman (1992). Minor oil crops. FAO. Retrieved on 2006-11-10.
^ National Research Council (2006). "Dika", Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II: Vegetables. National Academic Press. ISBN 0-309-10333-9.
^ Udeala OK, Onyechi JO, Agu SI (January 1980). "Preliminary evaluation of dika fat, a new tablet lubricant". J Pharm Pharmacol32 (1): 6-9. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
^ ab False Flax Oil. Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Energie. Retrieved on 2006-07-24.
^ Flaxseed oil. University of Maryland Medical Center (April 1, 2002). Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^ All Spirit Fitness: Grape Seed Oil. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^ Hemp oil: A true superfood?. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^ Kapok seed oil. German Transport Information Service. Retrieved on 2006-07-24.
^ Glynis Jones, Soultana M. Valamoti (2005). "Lallemantia, an imported or introduced oil plant in Bronze Age northern Greece". Vegetation history and archaeobotany14 (4): 571-577. Retrieved on 2006-11-08.
^ Marula Oil. PhytoTrade Africa. Retrieved on 2007-08-12.
PhytoTrade Africa is a vendor of marula oil and other natural products from Africa.
^ Dan Burden. Meadowfoam. AgMRC Web site. Retrieved on 2006-07-24.
^ German Transport Information System: Mustard oil. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^ R. Holser, G. Bost (May , 2004). "Hibiscus seed oil compositions". AOCS95.
^ Franklin W. Martin (1982). "Okra, Potential Multiple-Purpose Crop for the Temperate Zones and Tropics". Economic Botany36: 340-345.
^ David M. Brenner (1993). Perilla: Botany, Uses and Genetic Resources. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^ B.L. Axtell from research by R.M. Fairman (1992). "Caryocar spp.", Minor oil crops. FAO. Retrieved on 2006-11-10.
^ Recipe Tips: Pine Seed Oil - Glossary of Kitchen and Food Terms. Retrieved on 2006-07-21.
^ Raw oils: Poppy Seed oil. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^ Statfold oils: Poppyseed oil. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^ About.com: Oil Painting: Drying Oils or Mediums. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^ Virgin prune kernel oil. Iterg, the French Institute for Fats and Oils. Retrieved on 2006-07-24.
^ Michael J. Koziol (1993). "Quinoa: A Potential New Oil Crop". New crops2.
^ The Probert Encyclopedia: Ramtil Oil. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^ California Rice Oil: Rice Bran Oil. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^ Ripu M. Kunwar and Nirmal Adhikari (July, 2005). "Ethnomedicine of Dolpa district, Nepal: the plants, their vernacular names and uses". Lyonia. Retrieved on 2007-10-10.
^ John M. Ruter (1993). "Nursery Production of Tea Oil Camellia Under Different Light Levels", Trends in new crops and new uses.
^ Danish Food Composition Database: Thistle oil. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^Ethanol and, to a lesser degree, methanol are the other major types of biofuel.
^ abc Castoroil.in: Bio fuels. Retrieved on 2006-07-25.
^ ab Biodiesel America: Dr. Diesel's Invention. Retrieved on 2006-07-31.
^ CastorOil.in: Castor Oil as Biodiesel & Biofuel. Retrieved on 2007-07-25.
^ Coconut Oil as a Biofuel in Pacific Islands - Challenges & Opportunities (PDF). South Pacific Applied Geoscience Web site.
^ Ronald C. Griffin and Madhu Jamallamudi. The Economic Circumstances of Cottonseed Oil as Biodiesel (PDF).
^ Hemp car: Pollution: Petrol vs Hemp. Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
^ Office of University Research and Education (November 2001). Biodiesel from Yellow Mustard Oil. U.S. Department of Transportation.
^ Wes Jackson (Fall 1999). "Clearcutting the Last Wilderness". The Land Report (65). The Land Institute.
^ Australian Agronomy Society: Bio-diesel, farming for the future. Retrieved on 2006-02-26.
^ B.L. Axtell from research by R.M. Fairman (1992). "Noog abyssinia", Minor oil crops. FAO. Retrieved on 2006-11-17.
^ Orchidea Rachmaniah, Yi-Hsu Ju, Shaik Ramjan Vali, Ismojowati Tjondronegoro, and Musfil A.S. (2004). "A Study on Acid-Catalyzed Transesterification of Crude Rice Bran Oil for Biodiesel Production" (PDF). World Energy Congress (19).
^ Jesus Fernandez. Safflower oil in your tank. Queen City News.
^ European Energy Crops InterNetwork: Sunflower crop feasibility for biodiesel production in Spain. Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
^ Journey to Forever: Bio-diesel Yield. Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
^ The Chemistry of Biodiesel. Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
^ There are some plants that yield a commercial vegetable oil, that are also used to make other sorts of biofuel. Eucalyptus, for example, has been explored as a means of biomass for producing ethanol. These plants are not listed here.
^ Greenfuel Technologies. Retrieved on 2006-07-31. Company developing Algae oil.
^ USA Today: Algae — like a breath mint for smokestacks.
^ James A. Duke, (1982). Handbook of Energy Crops: Copaifera langsdorfii Desf.. From the Purdue Center for New Crops Web site.
^ Good News India: Honge Oil proves to be a good biodiesel. Retrieved on 2006-07-31.