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Melting points 2

Followup to my last post:

Here's a table of fat and oil melting points.

Selecting and sorting by temperature, in Celsius:
Lard 41
Palm oil 35
Cocoa butter 34
Gallium [do not eat] 30
Coconut oil 25

Peanut oil 3
Water 0
Olive oil -6
Rapeseed (canola) oil -10
Soybean -16
Sunflower -17
Linseed -24

As you can see, at the extremes there are gaps of 6-7 K. Sometimes less. But there's a 22 K gap between peanut and coconut oils. Take out coconut and gallium, and it's a 31 K gap.

As I said last time, in a way it makes sense: coconut oil was surprising because I hadn't encountered anything before that melts at practically room temperature. But still, wow. Wonder if there's a selective pressure: animals wanting fats that stay solid even under heat, plants wanting oils that stay liquid even freezing cold, no one wants a transition at 20 C. As for non-biological substances... I guess one rarely needs a household substance that would change phases at such temperatures, too.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/429266.html#comments

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
harimad
Oct. 5th, 2015 01:55 pm (UTC)
There's a close corelation between level of saturated fat and melting point: the more sat fat, the higher the melting point. This does not provide an answer to your question but it does point in some interesting directions.

Any particular reason you didn't include margarine and butter? Butter melts just below human body temp, margarine a few degrees above.
mindstalk
Oct. 5th, 2015 02:05 pm (UTC)
The wide ranges they were given in the table. 32-35 butter, 34-43 margarine (I'd guess depending on exact composition, maybe including shortening?) Less useful than something with a sharp point.
harimad
Oct. 5th, 2015 06:44 pm (UTC)
Good points.

For butter, it depends on how clarified it is. More clarified (such as ghe), higher melting point. But there's not that much difference between US butter and the slightly-more-purified European butter. I wonder if the margarine variation has to do with the margarine-oil mixes that are now marketed.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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