What is Palm Oil?
Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil high in saturated fats and free of trans fats. The oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) is a native to West Africa and was imported into SE Asia in the mid 19th century. Oil palm flourishes in the humid tropics and produces high yield when grown 10 degrees north and south of the equator.
Palm fruit develops in dense bunches weighing 10 kilograms (kg) or more and containing more than a thousand individual fruits similar in size to a small plum which tree produces 2 types of oil. Palm oil (PO) is obtained from the flesh of the fruit and Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) is produced by extracting the oil from the internal seed (Kernel).
Every oil palm tree requires approximately 3m diameter clear around the base of each tree to allow full growth. Oil palm is highly productive crop which is capable of yielding more oil from less land than any other vegetable oil in existence. One oil palm tree will produce ongoing fruit for up to 30 years deeming the crop as high yielding and sustainable. Palm Oil is used in around 50% of products consumers purchase and use on a daily basis. Palm Oil and derivatives otherwise known as fractions of the oil are used in the manufacture of pre-packaged food, cosmetics, cleaning products, hair care, soaps and personal care items. Palm Wax is used in the manufacture of candles.Palm Oil is also used to manufacture bio fuel and has become what is called the green fuel option for Motor Vehicles, shipping and Aircraft fuel. Palm is also used as feed for livestock named as palm kernel cake (PKC) which is a by-product of palm kernel oil. PKC is considered a medium grade protein feed used to fatten cattle and other livestock
Palm oil is obtained from the fruit of the oil palm tree. Palm oil is used for preventing vitamin A deficiency, cancer, brain disease, aging; and treating malaria, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cyanide poisoning. Palm oil is used for weight loss and increasing the body’s metabolism. As food, palm oil is used for frying. Industrially, palm oil is used for manufacturing cosmetics, soaps, toothpaste, waxes, lubricants, and ink. Palm oil has a role to play among the fats we consume because of its specific composition, and particularly to meet technological requirements of some of the foods we consume. In many food applications, the use of palm oil has been instrumental in lowering (unhealthy) trans fat levels. Scientific research confirms that from a nutritional point of view, there is no indication that consumption of palm oil in a balanced diet is related to any specific health concern.