The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Density of Cooking Oil

search icon
Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Weast, R.C., et al. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1988-1989: F3. [see table 1] 0.918–0.926 g/cm3
Subrahmanyam, M.S.R., et al. Estimation of the Sharma and Thermoacoustic Properties of Vegetable Oil. Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society. 71 (August 1994). [see table 2] 0.913–0.919 g/cm3
Hodgman, C.D. & N.A. Lange. Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Cleveland: Chemical Rubber Co., 1924: 312-313. [see table 3] 0.915–0.928 g/cm3
Spectrum - Chemical, Safety and Laboratory Products. Catalog. Spectrum Quality Products, 1997-1999 [see table 4] 0.910–0.920 g/cm3

Cooking oil includes the well-known olive, sunflower, and canola oils and the not so well-known coconut, soy, and palm oils. Oil is removed from olives by pressing. The oil obtained from the first pressing is called virgin oil and is considered to be the highest quality salad and cooking oil. A second pressing of the olives produces oil of lesser quality that must be refined. Sunflower oil, because of its high protein content, is considered as semidrying oil and can be used in making paints or other industrial uses. But it is much more popular as a food and is considered by some as desirable as olive oil. It is also used in cooking, frying, and in the manufacture of margarine and shortening. Canola oil, which is was previously called rapeseed oil, differs from other vegetable oils because it contains significant quantities of eicosenoic and erucic fatty acids. It is used as both an edible oil and as a lubricant for metal surfaces because of high viscosity of rapeseed oil.

Coconut oil comes from a part of the coconut called the copra, which is mostly made up of highly saturated oil. The oil is extracted from the copra by crushing and is used in baking and a variety of prepared foods. Of all the edible oils, coconut has the most nonedible uses. It is used in cosmetics, toiletries, and soap production. Palm oil is similar to coconut. Because of it's highly saturated, it is used to make shortening and frying oil. Soy oil, obtained by solvent extraction, is the dominant vegetable oil worldwide. Most of the production is consumed as salad oil, cooking oil, and margarine. It is also used in a variety of prepared foods such as frozen desserts and coffee whiteners. Just like sunflower oil, it is considered a semidrying oil and has a variety of industrial uses.

The density of the oils varies with each type and temperature. The range is from 0.91 to 0.93 g/cm3 between the temperatures of 15 °C and 25 °C. Comparing to water, whose density is 1.00 g/ml, cooking oil is less dense.

Inga Dorfman -- 2000

Table 1
Oils Density (g/cm3) Temp (°C)
coconut 0.925 15
cotton seed 0.926 16
olive 0.918 15
Table 2
Temp (°C) Sunflower Rice Bran Groundnut Coconut
20 0.919 0.918 0.913 0.919
Table 3
Name Specific Gravity @ 15.5 °C Name Specific Gravity @ 15.5 °C
coconut 0.9259 peanut (arachis) 0.917-0.9209
corn (maize) 0.9213-0.9250 rapeseed 0.9133-0.9168
cotton seed 0.922-0.925 safflower 0.9246-0.9280
olive 0.9150-0.9180 sesame 0.9203-0.9237
palm 0.9210-0.9240 soja beans 0.924-0.9279
palm kernel 0.9119 sunflower 0.924-0.9258
Table 4
Cotton Seed oil, U.S.P./N.F.
specific gravity @ 25 °C
Olive Oil, U.S.P./N.F
specific gravity @ 25 °C
Peanut Oil, U.S.P./N.F.
specific gravity @ 25 °C

External links to this page: