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.
Robin Miller is a health and nutrition editor with more than 30 years of industry experience. She researches and writes about the nutritional benefits of palm fruit oil, with the goal of giving readers factual, science-based information that will be useful in their daily lives.