September 21, 2022

What to Know About Shipping Edible Vegetable Oils

What to Know About Shipping Edible Vegetable OilsEdible vegetable oils are some of the most challenging liquids to transport due to several risks and hazards that might negatively impact their quality. This is why these issues should be accounted for when designing bulk liquid transport solutions to ensure the integrity of the product remains intact.

Common Concerns During Vegetable Oil Transport

Quality degradation is one of the most significant challenges of transporting vegetable oil in bulk. Edible oils undergo chemical changes during transport, which alter their appearance and flavor. In some cases, these chemical changes result in several public health hazards.


Oxidation occurs when oil is exposed to oxygen, among other substances, which hastens the rate of degradation, resulting in its rancidity. When this happens, the oil starts to develop undesirable flavors and odors, which can be rectified with additional processing but will also incur additional costs.

Although all oils are always in a state of oxidation, which is quickened as the degree of unsaturation increases, the rate of oxidation is decreased considerably when the right conditions are present when transporting oil in bulk. Meanwhile, this rate is increased due to the following:

  • Contact with Air. Unsaturated fats have carbon-carbon double bonds that can be broken by oxygen in the air during the process of oxidation. This leads to the formation of ketones, aldehydes, or carboxylic acids, which are responsible for the rancid odors and flavors.
  • Presence of Water. The presence of water molecules has a similar effect to oxygen. The oxygen atom breaks the carbon-carbon double bond to form other products.
  • Exposure to Light. As mentioned above, all oils are at a constant rate of oxidation, although they occur at a much slower pace. This rate is hastened, however, in the presence of ultraviolet light as it supplies more energy for the reaction to take place.
  • Too Much Heat. Heat is applied inside the tanks when transporting cooking oil in bulk to maintain the oil’s viscosity. However, applying too much heat can cause it to go rancid as it also supplies more energy to fuel the oxidation process.


Hydrolysis occurs when oils react with water to form glycerol and fatty acids. This is a desirable reaction as it is used in producing soaps, detergents, cosmetics, and other products. However, it is not an intended reaction when transporting vegetable oil in bulk.

Hydrolysis reactions can occur during bulk edible oil transport when tanks are improperly cleaned. The presence of water molecules in the tank breaks down oils to become fatty acids, rendering them unusable for typical household applications such as cooking.


Contaminants can make their way into edible oils being transported through several channels. They can be introduced through residue after improper cleaning of the tank or during processing and can drastically impact product quality and safety. The following are common contaminants found when transporting vegetable oil in bulk:

  • Farm Chemicals (pesticide residue)
  • Debris (dust, dirt, small sticks, vegetable matter, etc.)
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Tank Coatings

Key Areas of Focus When Shipping Cooking Oil in Bulk

Bulk liquid transport is the go-to method of vegetable oil transport for large-scale food processing, manufacturing, and other industrial processes. The top benefits of bulk liquid transport of edible oils include:

  • Versatility
  • Sustainability
  • Ease-of-Transport
  • Efficiency
  • Cost-Effectiveness

However, there are still numerous considerations to run through for vegetable oil transport in bulk. Consider the following:

  • Temperature. Vegetable oils are typically kept under specific temperatures to maintain viscosity during loading, transport, and unloading. In some cases, heating coils are used for equal heat distribution. However, make sure not to supply too much heat as it could result in the oil turning rancid.
  • Type of Tank. The tank container must be made from an inert material to avoid reactions with the oil that could impact its quality. Most manufacturers opt for stainless steel tanks because they do not react with the oil. But FlexiTanks have become much more popular over the years as a seamless, more cost-effective alternative.
  • Cleanliness. Proper precautions must be taken to ensure that tanks are properly cleaned to avoid cross-contamination with water, soap, chemicals, or other oils being transported. Flexitanks offer a significant advantage in this regard because they are single-use, eliminating any possibility of contamination.
  • Transportation Rules. Countless rules and regulations for transporting vegetable oils need to be accounted for to avoid any issues while in transit.

Reliable Vegetable Oil Transport Solutions by Kan-Haul

Kan-Haul is a go-to provider of liquid transportation solutions for a wide range of industries. Through state-of-the-art technologies backed by decades of experience in the transportation and logistics industry, you can rely on Kan-Haul to supply safe, reliable, and cost-effective bulk transportation solutions for edible vegetable oils. Protect your valuable cargo – and your bottom line – with Kan-Haul. Give us a call today!

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