Definitions

tallow

tallow

[tal-oh]
tallow, solid fat extracted from the tissues and fatty deposits of animals, especially from suet (the fat of cattle and sheep). Pure tallow is white, odorless and tasteless; it consists chiefly of triglycerides of stearic, palmitic, and oleic acids. It is usually obtained commercially by heating suet under pressure in closed vessels. Tallow is used to make soap and candles. It was formerly in common use as a lubricant.

Tallow is a rendered form of beef or mutton fat, processed from suet. It is solid at room temperature. Unlike suet, tallow can be stored for extended periods without the need for refrigeration to prevent decomposition, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.

Rendered fat obtained from pigs is known as lard.

Industrially, tallow is not strictly defined as beef or mutton fat. In this context, tallow is animal fat that conforms to certain technical criteria, including its melting point, which is also known as titre. It is common for commercial tallow to contain fat derived from other animals, such as pigs.

Uses

Tallow is used in animal feed, to make soap, for cooking, and as a bird food. It can be used as a raw material for the production of biodiesel and other oleochemicals. Historically, it was used to make tallow candles, which were a cheaper alternative to wax candles.

Before switching to pure vegetable oil in recent years, the McDonald's corporation cooked its french fries in a mixture of 93% beef tallow and 7% cottonseed oil.

Tallow is used in the steel rolling industry to provide the required lubrication as the sheet steel is compressed through the steel rollers. There is a trend towards replacing tallow based lubrication with synthetic oils in rolling applications for surface cleanliness reasons.

Tallow can also be used as flux for soldering.

Tallow is also the primary ingredient in Proofide, a leather dressing made especially for Brooks leather bicycle saddles, in combination with cod oil, vegetable oil, paraffin wax, beeswax, and citronella oil.

Tallow, along with beeswax was also used in the creation of lubricant for Civil War ammunition used in the Springfield Rifle Musket.

Composition

The composition of the fatty acids is typically as follows:

References

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