What is palm oil?
Palm oil is obtained from the flesh (“mesocarp”) of the oil palm fruit. Like olive oil, palm oil is a fruit oil. Palm oil should not be mistaken for palm kernel oil which is extracted from the kernel or seed of the palm fruit.
Therefore, the oil palm fruit is unique. From the fruit two distinct types of oils are produced – palm oil and palm kernel oil. Both are edible oils but with very different chemical composition, physical properties and applications. Each palm fruit produces about 90% palm oil and 10% palm kernel oil
Palm oil has a balanced composition of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Coupled with nature’s gift of high vitamin E content, the oil is naturally very stable.
Palm oil contains an equal proportion of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. It’s particularly rich in the saturated palmitic acid (44%), with substantial amounts of the monounsaturated oleic acid (40%), and smaller amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (10%).
Palm oil has had a history of food use of over 5,000 years, and this major oil in the world’s oils and fats trade is currently consumed in over 130 countries worldwide.