Welcome to Henry Colbeck




If you think that all vegetable oil qualities are the same, you are just plain wrong!

Here are some searching questions that you the customer, should be asking your edible oil supplier.

Obviously there are differences between specific vegetable oils. Sunflower oil is different to, say, rapeseed oil. However, how many vegetable oil buyers in the food processing industry are aware that there are significant differences between the rapeseed oil supplied by different processors and packers? “An oil is an oil is an oil” is not an accurate view of the market or the industry.

Liquid vegetable oil, of any origin, is really quite a delicate natural “chemical”. Even at ambient temperatures the oil can deteriorate very quickly just by being exposed to sunlight or to the Oxygen in the atmosphere. If the oil is being used for the purpose of deep frying then the product is, unavoidably, being thoroughly brutalised…………It will start to chemically breakdown and this will be manifested by “frothing & foaming”, discolouration and an odour taint.

If you are the purchaser of liquid edible oil for your company or if you are the quality control manager for the business you should be asking your supplier a number of important questions…………..Here is a guide to some of the questions that you should be asking…………..


What is the source of your vegetable oil?


Hopefully not a “distressed”, sub-standard import! It’s frequently price, price, price so there are some vegetable oil packers who will source these “distressed” volumes!...................Is this what you want!   


Do you Nitrogen sparge and Nitrogen blanket the vegetable oil you are supplying to my business to

minimise oxidation?


If your supplier does not apply this nitrogen sparging process to their liquid edible oil production then the product that is eventually delivered to your manufacturing facility may well have started to oxidise and this can easily lead to the development of rapid rancidity.


Has the vegetable oil you have purchased been stored in stainless steel tanks and is all of the pipework at the processing facility stainless steel?


When exposed to vegetable oil, certain metals, such as copper and iron, or any alloys containing these, for example, brass, will chemically react with the oil and the subsequent degradation will significantly effect the performance of the oil as either an ingredient or as a frying medium.


How do you clean the 1000 litre containers, containing a food grade product, that you supply to my business?


The simple answer is that most suppliers of 1000 litre IBCs do not clean the containers to a satisfactory standard. When your production personnel have used the oil they will probably put the empty container outside where it will be completely exposed to the elements. If you are informed that the containers are cleaned off-site, then request an inspection certificate.


How do you fill the 1000 litre containers that you supply to my business?


You may be surprised to know that some packers of 1000 litre liquid vegetable oil have no accurate filling procedure. You may receive 1000 litres or you may receive less!!


I have specified sunflower oil. How do I know that’s what you are delivering?


You should be able to trust your supplier to provide you with the correct product but there are many examples of unspecified vegetable oil being delivered. The buyer should “beware” but working in partnership with a proven supplier is always preferable and to be recommended! A certificate of analysis is not necessarily always accurate.     


Suppliers of 1000 litres of liquid vegetable oil………….Who are they?


The two principal refiners of “soft” edible oils in the U.K. are businesses operating to the highest standards. These businesses are constrained from supplying 1000 litre IBCs of liquid vegetable oil into the food processing market because of the relatively short production runs and the uneconomic logistics of collecting and “cleaning” empty 1000 litre containers.


This void has been filled by a number of companies, most of which have failed to invest in either the quality of their product or in the quality of their storage and filling equipment or their personnel.


For information about supply OR for free-of-charge on-site vegetable oil and deep frying management seminars for non-technical personnel, contact Lauren Collinson at:


Henry Colbeck Limited.


Telephone: 0191 482 8406 (Direct Dial).

                   0771 879 4003 (Mobile).


email: lauren.collinson@colbeck.co.uk 


About Henry Colbeck

Henry Colbeck Limited offers a comprehensive range of edible oils & fats to food processors. Rapeseed Oil. Sunflower Oil. High Oleic Sunflower Oil. Soyabean Oil. Palm Oil. Olive Oil. 1000 Litres. 20 Litres. 15 Litres. 10 Litres. 5 Litres. 12.5kg.

Henry Colbeck Limited, established in 1893, is a family owned and managed business.

Our 12,000 square feet edible oil processing and packing facility in Gateshead houses a 250 tonne capacity edible oil storage facility. We believe that our processing operation is unique in the U.K. due to the care that is taken to maintain our liquid edible oil in prime condition. Nitrogen is introduced as the oil is pumped into the storage tanks, forcing out the oxygen dissolved in the oil. The oil is stored in stainless-steel tanks and is blanketed with Nitrogen preventing further oxidation.