Difference between Mustard Oil and Vegetable Oil

Key difference: Generally, Vegetable Oils are obtained from various plants and their sources. This category also includes Mustard Oil which is obtained from the mustard seeds.

Today, Oils are used as substitution in many ingredients, along with culinary and medicinal uses oils are also used in large quantities for industrial purposes. Almost many oils have become a source of biodiesel. There are variety of oils and their types, such as the refined, unrefined and crude oils. These have their respective applications in different sectors. The fat and cholesterol content in oils have to be considered when used for cooking and other related uses, as these constituents are responsible for many health related issues and problems.

Vegetable oils comprise large varieties of different types of oils obtained from the various plants and sources like seeds, herbs, nuts, legumes and fruits. The vegetable oils are triglycerides extracted from the plants. The term “vegetable oil” specifically refers to those substances that are liquid at room temperatures or in general, also refers to the state of matter of the substance at a given temperature. Hence, these are solid at room temperature and like usual other oils, liquefy when heated. Actually these oils are obtained from any of the plant sources, but on commercial basis, the oil is extracted commonly from seeds. The most common varieties in vegetable oil include olive oil, soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil and peanut oil.

Vegetable oils have a defined role, when used with the animal fats, like butter and ghee. Many vegetable oils are used to make soaps, skin products, candles, perfumes and other personal care and cosmetic products. There are issues of toxic and non-toxic nature of vegetable oils; while selecting any type of oils; hence these oils are sometimes not preferred at some duration of time and place.    

Broadly, the vegetable oils are classified as:

  • By source: as not all vegetable oils are extracted from the fruits or seeds of plants, and the oils may also be classified by grouping the oils from similar plants, for example: "nut oils".
  • By use: these oils from plants are also used in cooking; for fuel, cosmetics, medical purposes, and other industrial purposes.

Mustard oil being a part of edible vegetable oil is extracted from the mustard seeds; which are generally of black color. The oil has an extreme pungent odor along with a particular taste. Generally, this oil is commonly used in the North Indian regions, due to its qualitative culinary and medicinal usages. Refined mustard oil is available in the local markets, which is neutral in both odor and taste. The oil is regarded to be the forth largest among all the various types of consumed vegetable oils in the world. It contains 30 per cent protein, calcium and natural anti-oxidants.

Apart from cooking the oil also has been in use in the Ayurvedic sectors, as the oil is known for its healing and medicinal properties and is also considered to be beneficial for hair, skin and body. The oil regarded to be best in its anti-bacterial and anti-infectious nature, which prevents the body from facing any such infectious problems. As of the health benefits, the oil is regarded to be too beneficial in several coronary and other heath related aspects.

There exist three different types of mustard oils, depending upon their type of extraction;

  • Fatty vegetable oil: obtained by pressing the mustard seeds.
  • Essential oil: that is made by grinding the seeds, mixing them with water and extracting the oil through distillation.
  • Oil obtained from the process involves infusing mustard seed extract with other vegetable oils such as soy bean oil.

If compared, vegetable oils are tasteless and are known to adapt to the natural food item’s taste when used in as an ingredient, while crude mustard oil ahs a strong pungent taste and odor, but the refined and filtered one has neutral odor having its own unique taste factor. Almost all vegetable oils are cholesterol-free, but they do contain saturated and unsaturated fats, which play a role in blood cholesterol level. Vegetable oil and their type selection for cooking, if taken into consideration would never end the discussion, as every oil has some specified qualities related to health aspects. Finally, concluding that if compared in aspects of health benefits, mustard oil contributes its major share to that of the vegetable oils.

Comparison between Mustard Oil and Vegetable Oil:


Mustard Oil

Vegetable Oil

Oil extracted from

mustard seeds

vegetable and plant sources like seeds, nuts, legumes and fruits


typical pungent odor and taste

generally tasteless in nature

Used for

frying, pickle making, type of dressing for salads and vegetables

shortening, texture, flavor-based cooking, designing

Health Benefits

  • Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Stimulates Digestion
  • Reduces Risk of Cancer
  • Antibacterial, Antifungal and Anti-inflammatory Action
  • Relieves Cold and Cough
  • Used for Massaging
  • Good for Skin and Hair
  • Relieves Joint Pain

These are suggested according to their types and fat compositions, and hence have several health benefits.

Image Courtesy: ecopreneurist.com, oilforhair.org

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