Just because coconut oil is also a product of palm trees doesn’t mean that it’s similar to healthy palm fruit oil. The truth is that coconut oil is much more like palm kernel oil in terms of chemical composition and physical characteristics. The fatty acid composition of Malaysian palm fruit oil set it apart from both palm kernel oil and coconut oil.
Palm fruit oil (which may also be referred to as palm oil) also differs from coconut oil with regard to its impact on heart disease risk. Human clinical trials have shown that palm oil tends to be “cholesterol-neutral” while coconut oil is more likely to raise cholesterol.
How is palm oil labeled?
Palm oil is semi-solid at room temperature (20°C). The liquid portion could be physically separated from the solid portion of palm oil by a process called fractionation.
After fractionation the liquid portion is called “palm olein“, which is commonly bottled and sold as cooking oils.
The solid fat portion is called “palm stearin” and it is commonly used to formulate trans-free fats such as margarine, shortening and vegetable ghee.
Sometimes the palm olein is further fractionated to a more liquid fraction called “super palm olein“. This oil fraction could withstand colder temperature than palm olein before they cloud or solidify.