Lard is the rendered fat from the pig (Sus scrofa). There are numerous parts of the world where lard has been a major food fat during centuries. One of these countries is China, or parts of Europe, and until recent times the United States. Lard has been a popular fat for pastry and for frying potato chips. In the America it can still be found in these foods in spite of the inappropriate consumer activist pressure to change it with partially hydrogenated vegetable shortenings. Lard can be either a firm fat or a soft fat depending on what the pig is fed.
Lard is more or less the corresponding of tallow in its usage, except that is has more unsaturated and can become rancid if not handled properly. Usually it is about 40 percent saturated, 50 percent monounsaturated, and 10 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids. This fat should be considered as a monounsaturated fat. Lard has between 2 and 3 percent palmitoleic acid, which as noted above possesses antimicrobial capacities. Most lard is home rendered or sold in certain ethnic stores Typical fatty acid composition is 1 percent myristic acid, 25 percent palmitic acid, 3 percent palmitoleic acid, 12 percent stearic acid, 45 percent oleic acid, 10 percent linoleic acid, and less than 1 percent linolenic acid. Typical tocopherol and tocotrienol content is reported to be 12 mg/kg a-tocopherol, 7 mg/kg ү-tocopherol, and 7 mg/kg atocotrienol.