What is the Difference Between Hydrogenated and Non-hydrogenated Oil

The main difference between hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated oil is that hydrogenated oil is a solid, whereas non-hydrogenated oil is a liquid.

Hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated oil are two types of fats that contain different levels of hydrogenation. In general, hydrogenation is the process of converting vegetable oil into solid fat.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Hydrogenated Oil
     – Definition, Features, Importance
2. What is Non-hydrogenated Oil
     – Definition, Features, Importance
3. Similarities Between Hydrogenated and Non-hydrogenated Oil
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Hydrogenated and Non-hydrogenated Oil
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Hydrogenation, Hydrogenated Oil, Non-hydrogenated OilHydrogenated vs Non-hydrogenated Oil - Comparison Summary

What is Hydrogenated Oil

Hydrogenated oil is a type of vegetable oil that undergoes hydrogenation. Generally, hydrogenation is a process of converting liquid vegetable oils into solid fat. It is a chemical reaction between molecular hydrogen and the carbon-carbon double bond of the oil. It occurs in the presence of a catalyst such as platinum, palladium, and nickel. The main importance of the process is the saturation of the compound which in turn reduces the number of double bonds. Moreover, the higher degree of hydrogenation increases the degree of saturation.

Compare Hydrogenated and Non-hydrogenated Oil

Figure1: Hydrogenation

Furthermore, hydrogenation adds pairs of hydrogen atoms to alkenes. The reaction also occurs in the presence of catalysts. However, hydrogenation can occur at high temperatures in the absence of catalysts. In addition, there are two types of hydrogenation that depend on the degree of hydrogenation. They are total hydrogenation and partial hydrogenation. Generally, total hydrogenation makes oils firmer. In contrast, partial hydrogenation makes oils semi-soft. Examples of partial hydrogenation include soft margarine.      

What is Non-hydrogenated Oil

Non-hydrogenated oil is another type of vegetable oil that does not undergo hydrogenation. Therefore, the degree of hydrogenation in non-hydrogenated oils is higher. Thus, non-hydrogenated oils contain more double bonds. The degree of saturation of the non-hydrogenated oils is very low. Hence, unsaturated fat is another name for non-hydrogenated oil. In addition, there are two types of unsaturated fats. They are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fat contains one double bond, while polyunsaturated fat contains more than one double bond.

Hydrogenated vs Non-hydrogenated Oil

Figure 2: Triglyceride with a Saturated Fatty Acid (top), a Monounsaturated One (middle), and a Polyunsaturated One (bottom)   

Moreover, oils are esters of fatty acids and are the main component of vegetable oils. These oils contain triglycerides that are triple esters of glycerol. The main type of fats or oils in the human diet are monounsaturated fats. Generally, monounsaturated fats occur in red meat, nuts, whole milk products, etc. In addition, they occur in high-fat fruits, including avocadoes and olives. Polyunsaturated fat, on the other hand, occurs in seeds, nuts, fish, seed oils, and oysters. In general, polyunsaturated fats occur in minute quantities in food.

Similarities Between Hydrogenated and Non-hydrogenated Oil

  • Hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated oil are two types of fats that differ by the degree of hydration.
  • Fats are essential for the regulation of body temperature and for the protection of bones, organs, and nerves. In addition, fats are important for hormones and immune function.
  • 40% of calories in the body come from fat.
  • It is a leading cause of heart disease.

Difference Between Hydrogenated and Non-hydrogenated Oil


Hydrogenated oil refers to a type of fat that food manufacturers use to keep foods fresher for longer, while non-hydrogenated oil refers to another type of fat that are liquids.

Physical characteristics

Hydrogenated oil is solid, while non-hydrogenated oil is liquid.


Moreover, hydrogenated oil underwent hydrogenation, while non-hydrogenated oil did not undergo hydrogenation.


Hydrogenated oil underwent saturation, while non-hydrogenated oil did not undergo saturation.


Hydrogenated oil includes olive oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, etc., while non-hydrogenated oil includes peanut oil, coconut oil, and high oleic sunflower oil.


In brief, hydrogenated oil and non-hydrogenated oil are two types of fat. Generally, they differ according to the degree of hydrogenation. Usually, hydrogenated oil is a solid, and it undergoes hydrogenation. Therefore, hydrogenated oils are saturated oils. Examples of hydrogenated oils include olive oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil. In contrast, non-hydrogenated oil is liquid, and it does not undergo hydrogenation. Non-hydrogenated oils are unsaturated oil. Some examples of non-hydrogenated oils include coconut oil, peanut oil, and high-oleic sunflower oil. However, the main difference between hydrogenated oil and non-hydrogenated oil is the degree of hydration.                                   

  1. Hydrogenation.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Oct. 2022, 
  2. Fat.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2022.
Image Courtesy:
  1. Hydrogenation on catalyst” By Michael Schmid – Own work (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
  2. Fat triglyceride shorthand formula” By Wolfgang Schaefer – Own Work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things. She has a keen interest in writing articles regarding science.

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