Date: July 2005
What happens to the chemical structure of cooking oils
when they are heated and cured in an oven?
This is very complicated chemistry. "Cooking oils" are esters of long
chain organic acids (called "fatty acids" about 12 to 18 carbon atoms) and
glycerin HO-(CH2)-CH(OH)-(CH2)-OH. If we designate the "fatty acid" = R
then the cooking oil has a structure: RO-(CH2)-CH(OR)-(CH2)-OR. Heated in
the oven the "R's" can break off. They can react with oxygen. They can
react in any number of ways with ingredients in whatever is being baked.
The results are as varied as a delicate change in taste and/or odor to a