When was vegetable oil invented?

vegetable oil, invention, aveno, history

Vegetable oil has been around for centuries. But when did people start extracting oil from plant matter? And how did they do it? It hasn't always been an automated proces as we are used to today.

According to archaeological research, people started producing olive oil in the ancients region of the Middle East almost 8000 years ago! The researchers dug up shards of broken pottery containers with traces of ancient olive oil in the town of Ein Zippori.

Some say vegetable oil was invented much later in the 1600s, when people discovered a way to extract the oil from all kinds of vegetables. Until the 1800s they used a stamper press to gain the oil.

Stamper press

A few years later John Smeaton, an English engineer, invented a roll mill tot crush vegetables more easily. Joseph Bramah improved the stamper press and the hydraulic press was born!

Roll mill
Old hydraulic press

The first improved screw press was invented by V.D. Anderson in the United States at the end of the 19th century. Back then it was called "The Expeller", because this was one of the best ways to smash and compress vegetables. The oil would drain out of the slots on the side of the press and the pressure was increased to push the oil through the cage.

The Expeller 

Over time the extraction of oils became more efficient. They began to obtain oils using solvents. Both methods of extraction have been greatly improved throughout the years. Solvent extraction still remains the standard in the vegetable oil industry. We are now able to obtain up to 90% oil in comparison to 10% in the 19the century.

Want to know more about the history of vegetable oil? Click here to discover the first vegetable oil!

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