seasoning fats generally we mean those substances, of both origin animal is vegetable, which have the common chemical characteristic of containing a very high percentage of lipids, and therefore being usable for food purposes, to flavor and make dishes richer in taste.
Differences between vegetable and animal fats
In nature, vegetable fats are mainly present in the seeds and fruits of some plants, such as the olive tree, the sunflower, the corn and many more. Animal fats, on the other hand, are contained in the adipose tissue present under the skin or around the internal organs of various animal species, such as cattle, pigs, sheep and horses, but also fish and marine mammals; moreover, they can also be obtained from the processing of the milk of some animals, in which they are mostly contained.
The most important seasoning fats for food are, among those of animal origin, the XNUMX/XNUMX cup salted butter, the lard and lard, while, among the vegetable ones, the olive oils and semi. These fats have different compositional, nutritional, and organoleptic characteristics, and therefore are used differently.
From the chemical point of view all dietary fats contain substances called triglycerides, formed by glycerol and fatty acids. It is above all the latter that determine the chemical-physical and organoleptic characteristics typical of various types of fat, which are so different from each other.
Types of fatty acids
Fatty acids are divided into saturated fatty acids e monounsaturated fatty acids e polyunsaturated fatty acids. In saturated fatty acids the bonds between the various carbon atoms are all stable, while one or more unstable bonds are present respectively in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
In fats obtained from terrestrial animals, saturated fatty acids prevail, while polyunsaturated fatty acids are present in a higher percentage in sea fish, as in the case of vegetable fats other than olive oil, characterized by a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids.
From a nutritional point of view, it is recommended to contain the consumption of saturated fats especially to prevent arteriosclerosis: an insufficient presence of unsaturated fatty acids in the diet is in fact one of the main causes in the establishment of atherosclerotic processes. It is therefore good to increase the use of vegetable fats to conserve the dishes, especially extra virgin olive oil.