Margarine is a butter substitute made from animal fats and / or vegetable oils. Margarines are usually made with vegetable oils such as soy, corn, or sunflower oil, giving a product low in saturated fats fortified with vitamins A & D. The polyunsaturated fats which are widely used in margarines are considered to be generally healthier for human nutrition. Medical evidence suggests that polyunsaturated fats are less likely to contribute to cardiovascular disease than saturated fats.

Margarine is best stored in cool conditions, preferably refrigerated but may be removed prior to use for softening. Margarine can be used hard or produced soft in tubs. It is used for baking e.g. cakes and biscuits, and may be used in place of oil for frying small amounts of vegetables. It is also used as a spread on bread.