Fats and Oils (Plant Oils)

Sow the seeds of knowledge with a short video about plant oils! Science scholars discover the methods people use to extract oils from olives, coconuts, and flowers. The narrator also explains the chemical structures of these oils and why they don't mix with polar solvents such as water.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Show the video during a unit on long-chain organic molecules or as an example of emulsions during solution chemistry
  • Demonstrate a plant-based distillation for the class so they can view the layers that form when an oil is extracted in this manner
Classroom Considerations

  • Prior knowledge of hydrocarbons is helpful in viewing the resource

  • The narrator provides great details about all of the parts of plants that contain the oils we use
  • Animation illustrates how long-chain oils are put together and shows how unsaturated fats can be hydrogenated, helping learners understand how factors can alter these molecules

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