Suet – Uses, Botanical Source, Characters, and Chemical Constituents



Biological source:

Suet is the purified fat obtained from the abdomen of the sheep, Ovis aries Linn., of the family Bovidae. The oil is extracted by thoroughly crushing the omentum or folds of the abdominal peritoneum to break the membranous vesicles in which the fat is contained. The liberated fat is then melted and strained through linen or flannel. The liquid is then cooled with stirring to obtain a uniform solid fat.


Suet is a smooth, uniform and firm white fat with a slight ch~ractcristic odour. It melts at about 45 to 50°C. The specific gravity of Suet at 15°C ranges from 0.948 to 0.953. Suet is soluble in ether, chloroform and light petroleum.

Chemical constituents:

Suet principally consists of stearin and palmitin (70 to 80%). It also contairis 20 to 30 percent of olein.


Suet is used as a base for preparation of ointments m tropical and subtropical countries.


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