About the book:

This volume deals with plants that are used for their oily seeds or fruits. About 80% of the world supply of non-mineral oils and fats is of vegetable origin and mostly produced by 14 crops. Of these, 9 crops are treated in separate papers. Oil palm and coconut are the two most important oil crops of South-East Asia, but sunflower and sesame are also cultivated in some countries of this region. Rapeseed, safflower, castor and olive may not have much potential in South-East Asia but universal utilization of their oils justifies inclusion in this volume. Another 7 oil crops which are of minor or local importance at present but may have some potential for future cultivation in South-East Asia are also covered, such as kokam, niger seed, Philippine tung, chia, tengkawang, jojoba and the Chinese tallow tree. Brief descriptions have been given of 35 species of minor importance as oil crops, and 139 species producing oils and fats in addition to their divergent primary uses are listed. Oils and fats are of vital importance in human nutrition as source of energy, essential fatty acids and vitamins. The residual cake after extracting oil from seeds is often a valuable source of proteins to supplement livestock feeds and in some cases also human foods. Direct use of unrefined vegetable oils in food preparation or for illumination is still quite common in rural areas. But otherwise, most vegetable oils and fats are processed into salad oils, margarines, frying oils, shortening and other products for home use or in the food industry. The nonfood oils and inferior grades of edible oils are converted into soaps and oleochemicals, which find application in a wide range of technical, pharmaceutical and industrial products.