Palm oil and palm kernel oil

Is palm oil similar to palm kernel oil?

No. Many people mistaken palm oil for palm kernel oil. Palm kernel oil has very different chemical composition and physical characteristics compared to palm oil (see Figure 1). Both these oils come from the same fruit but they are uniquely different. Palm oil comes from the flesh or mesocarp of the fruit while palm kernel oil comes from the kernel or seed of the fruit.

Palm oil and palm kernel oil have different impact on heart disease risk due to the different composition of fatty acids. Human studies have reported that palm oil tends to be “neutral” while palm kernel oil is distinctly cholesterol-raising.

Palm oil is mainly used for edible purposes while palm kernel oil is used for non-edible purposes such as making soaps, cosmetics and detergents.

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