Food safety 101: tips for homemade cooking oil

by Chia Lee

Recently, food security has become a major issue occupying every Taiwanese’s mind. The “gutter oil” scandal, for example, has made people aware of the importance of choosing good cooking oil.

I-Mei Foods CEO Luis Ko, who has been for a long time concerned with this issue, in December published his new book, “All Animals Need Oil & Fat – It Is Difficult to Find Good Oil,” teaching the public how to choose good oil, and to make good oil.

Pros and cons of homemade cooking oil

The awareness of food safety among customers after the food scandal has led many to go as far as making their own cooking oil, such as vegetable oil or lard.

However, according to the book, it is important to learn the pros and cons before you decide to make your own. While there are certain advantages of homemade oil, as it is fresh and can preserve nutrients better, it also costs more, has more impurities, and is hard to control the quality.

To make good vegetable oil, the first step is to select quality material. For example, you can select soybean seeds by their appearance, which should be clean and uniform in size and shape; by the smell, they should be free of rancid odor. Also, there is a difference in the color of soybeans, from the light beige ones to those with change of color in the periphery as they start to go rancid.

In addition, homemade cooking oil should be kept at room temperature for one or two days until the impurities sink to the bottom, leaving only the pure oil for use.

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