The term oil has gone through a long history until reaching its current form and meaning: from the Aramaic word zayta it changed to the Arabic term azzayt and then it was interpreted as azzáyt. The concept, according to the official definition, allows us to name the liquid and fat substance that is obtained from the treatment of different seeds and fruits, such as soy, almonds, coconut or corn.
The oil can also be obtained by pressing olives, derived from some animals (such as cod, seal or whale) and obtained by distilling certain bituminous minerals or lignite, peat and coal.
It should be noted that oil is also synonymous with oil (from the Latin term oleum according to Digopaul), although this word is only used to refer to the sacraments of the Catholic Church or as part of the language of painting.
On the other hand, fuel oils are yellowish liquid mixtures that originate from crude oil or vegetable substances (in these cases, we speak of biodiesel or biofuels). These oils can be used as solvents or as fuel for motors, lamps, stoves and ovens.
Oils can be divided, according to their characteristics, into virgin and refined. Virgin oils are obtained from a cold pressing (below 27ºC) that allows the flavor of the seed or fruit from which they are extracted to be preserved, or by means of centrifugation at 3,200 revolutions per minute and filtration.
Refined oils, on the other hand, undergo a specific process and are deodorized. As a result, these oils have a clean appearance and a standard color, and offer better conservation.
In some cases, blends of virgin and refined oils are used, in order to add flavor to the latter.
The impact of oil on human life
The body of human beings depends in part on the fatty acids that it obtains when ingesting oil, since these are essential in many biochemical reactions that take place in cells and in processes such as the formation of connective tissue, the production of hormones, the promotion of vitamins, cell pregnancy and maintenance of its organic compounds, called lipids.
People who do not eat enough carbohydrates are known to seek the energy necessary to maintain their metabolism in the fat or lipid reserve; When there is a lack of the latter, as a last resort for survival, the muscle tissue itself is consumed.
When there is no consumption of essential oils, it is possible for malformations to occur and the nervous and endocrine systems to atrophy, with the consequent imbalance at the cellular level. If our body is unable to carry out synthesis starting from essential fatty acids, the result will be death or rickets. To prevent this bone disease, the help of vitamin D or ergocalciferol, which gives the bones the calcium ion it captures, is essential.
Finally, it is important to distinguish between the types of oils beneficial to humans from those that are toxic and harmful. In the first group, we find fish and sunflower seeds, where a higher percentage of the so-called omega essential fatty acids is found. On the other hand, rapeseed oil, which comes from the turnip, contains a harmful acid, C 22: 1 erucic, which can cause malformations in children and growth disorders.
Many Chilean producers used rapeseed oil for a long time, until various scientific studies warned of its great toxicity; Then, its use was increasingly restricted, until it was completely withdrawn from the market. Currently, it is possible to obtain a hybrid of rapeseed with a presence of erucic acid less than 0.2%.