Countries in the tropical zone have been producing a variety of vegetable oils and fats for many years. Today’s major producers are Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia (which is increasing strongly), Ivory Coast and Brazil, all of which export palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil and/or cocoa butter in large quantities all over the world.
In more moderate climates, such non-tropical oils as soy bean oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil are produced. These three non-tropical, with the four tropical vegetable oils form the basic recipes for most oils and fats used in the chocolate and confectionery industry.
Whether a product is called an oil or a fat depends on its being liquid or non-liquid. Products being liquid at room temperature, which for most European countries will be around 20°C, are termed oils, whereas products which are solidified at this temperature are called fats.
Figure 4.1: Origin of vegetable oils and fats (Karlshamns)