Degreasing often called Defatting, is a term used to describe the removal of fatty acids from an object. In culinary science, the word degreasing refers to various methods which are used to reduce the fat
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides, triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure...

 content of a meal
A meal is an instance of eating, specifically one that takes place at a specific time and includes specific, prepared food.Meals occur primarily at homes, restaurants, and cafeterias, but may occur anywhere. Regular meals occur on a daily basis, typically several times a day...

. This term can be used to categorize procedures that reduce the fat content of a food both after cooking
Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training...

, and during the preparation of the meal. Degreasing is also often referred to as fat trimming.

Degreasing food

Degreasing is often used by diet
Dieting is the practice of eating food in a regulated fashion to achieve or maintain a controlled weight. In most cases dieting is used in combination with physical exercise to lose weight in those who are overweight or obese. Some athletes, however, follow a diet to gain weight...

ers, particularly those following low fat diets to reduce their fat consumption to induce weight loss. The energy content of 1g of fat is 9 calories, while that of carbohydrates and proteins are 4 calories. Hence, dieters often view decreasing fat consumption as an efficient way of losing weight without greatly sacrificing total volume of food. Degreasing during meal preparation is used to reduce the energy content of the food being prepared, and degreasing on a prepared food is also often used in social situations where one may have to consume restaurant food which is rich in fat.

Those people who wish to reduce their cholesterol level or fat intake, in particular people with hypercholesterolemia
Hypercholesterolemia is the presence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It is not a disease but a metabolic derangement that can be caused by many diseases, notably cardiovascular disease...

 often use degreasing to reduce their fat consumption.

Degreasing of a meal during preparation

Fat trimming of a meal can be done during preparation by a variety of methods. The most common methods involving substituting food items or removal of naturally occurring fat and conservative addition of fat.

Substituting fats is a method in which a certain ingredient is substituted by another ingredient. A common way of doing this is substituting saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fatty acids while cooking. For instance, olive oil can be used instead of butter for seasoning salad.

Food items are also substituted to reduce fat content. For instance, instead of using eggs by using a whole egg, where the egg yolks are high in fat levels, egg whites can instead be used. Alternatively, skimmed milk
Skimmed milk
Skimmed milk , or skim milk is made when all the cream is removed from whole milk .Sometimes only half the cream is removed, this is called semi-skimmed milk....

 or similar low fat products can be used as ingredients for cooking
Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training...


Degreasing liquids

Many different foods can be degreased after preparation. Liquid foods that are high in fat, such as braising
Braising , is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavour...

 liquids, roasting
Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization or Maillard browning of the surface of the food, which is considered by some as a flavor enhancement. Roasting uses more indirect, diffused heat , and is...

 juices and broth
Broth is a liquid food preparation, typically consisting of either water or an already flavored stock, in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered. Broth is used as a basis for other edible liquids such as soup, gravy, or sauce. It can be eaten alone or with garnish...

s may have floating oil on top throughout and after the cooking process. Fat can be skimmed off the liquid with a small ladle
Ladle (spoon)
A ladle is a type of spoon used to scoop up and serve soup, stew, or other foods. Although designs vary, a typical ladle has a long handle terminating in a deep bowl, frequently with the bowl oriented at an angle to the handle to facilitate lifting liquid out of a pot or other vessel and conveying...

, spoon, or cup as the liquid simmers and then discarded. This is done by placing the saucepan with only half of it on the heat source so that the liquid simmers only on one side. This pushes the fat to the opposite side and makes it easier to lift off with the ladle. The fat can then be skimmed off by holding the ladle so that the top of its bowl is almost level with the liquid and then tilting it slightly and in a circular motion toward the edge of the saucepan where the fat accumulates.

As braising liquids and broths simmer, they typically throw off more fat and protein and sometimes froth, so it is easier to wait at least a few minutes until the liquid has cooled before degreasing. In making slowly reduced liquids it may be ideal to wait for it to cool even longer.

As an alternative to a ladle, a degreasing cup can be used to skim the fat off hot liquids. This is a clear plastic or glass cup that looks similar to a teapot
A teapot is a vessel used for steeping tea leaves or a herbal mix in near-boiling water. Tea may be either in a tea bag or loose, in which case a tea strainer will be needed, either to hold the leaves as they steep or to catch the leaves inside the teapot when the tea is poured...

, with a spout that comes out of the bottom. The liquid and juices are poured into the cup then poured out leaving the fat behind; the liquid comes from the bottom of the cup instead of the top. Degreasing cups come in various sizes.

Refrigerating or freezing liquids until the fat congeals and solidifies can make the fat easier to remove with a spoon. If, after removing the congealed fat, the liquid still appears cloudy, it can be made clearer by skimming it again with a ladle after bringing it to a gentle simmer to allow for the release of more fat and insoluble proteins.

Degreasing solid food items

Some items such as roasted foods and other cooked food items, such as pizza can sometimes be oily and greasy. Degreasing them after preparation may provide a solution to this problem. Roasted foods, such as French fries
French fries
French fries , chips, fries, or French-fried potatoes are strips of deep-fried potato. North Americans tend to refer to any pieces of deep-fried potatoes as fries or French fries, while in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, long, thinly cut slices of deep-fried potatoes are...

, can often be degreased without decreasing the crispiness of the food item by simply blotting out the oil in the food item with a tissue paper
Tissue paper
Tissue paper is a lightweight paper or, light crêpe paper. Tissue can be made both from virgin and recycled paper pulp.-Properties:Key properties are: strength, absorbency, basis weight, thickness , brightness, stretch, appearance and comfort....


Commercial degreasing

Many food manufacturing companies such as Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers is an international company that offers various dieting products and services to assist weight loss and maintenance. Founded in 1963 by Brooklyn homemaker Jean Nidetch, it operates in about 30 countries around the world, generally under names that are local translations of “Weight...

 have been developed for people who wish to reduce their fat intake. The customer need of defatting has also led to the production of low fat products, e.g., low fat cheese.

Solvent degreasing

Solvent degreasing is a process used to prepare a part for further operations such as electroplating
Electroplating is a plating process in which metal ions in a solution are moved by an electric field to coat an electrode. The process uses electrical current to reduce cations of a desired material from a solution and coat a conductive object with a thin layer of the material, such as a metal...

 or paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

ing. Typically it uses petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

, chlorine
Chlorine is the chemical element with atomic number 17 and symbol Cl. It is the second lightest halogen, found in the periodic table in group 17. The element forms diatomic molecules under standard conditions, called dichlorine...

, or alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 based solvent
A solvent is a liquid, solid, or gas that dissolves another solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution that is soluble in a certain volume of solvent at a specified temperature...

s to dissolve the machining
Conventional machining is a form of subtractive manufacturing, in which a collection of material-working processes utilizing power-driven machine tools, such as saws, lathes, milling machines, and drill presses, are used with a sharp cutting tool to physical remove material to achieve a desired...

fluids and other contaminants that might be on the part.

External links

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