What is palm oil? It's an edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of oil palm trees, the scientific name is Elaeis guineensis. Two types of oil can be produced; crude palm oil comes from squeezing the fleshy fruit, and palm kernel oil which comes from crushing the kernel, or the stone in the middle of the fruit. Further reading: palm oil and why is it used.
Global warming. The biggest impact of unsustainable palm oil production is the large-scale devastation of tropical forests. As well as widespread habitat loss for endangered species like Asian rhinos, elephants, tigers and orangutans, this can lead to significant soil erosion. More reading: puff pastry horderves.
The village traditional method of extracting palm oil involves washing pounded fruit mash in warm water and hand squeezing to separate fibre and nuts from the oil/water mixture. A colander, basket or a vessel with fine perforated holes in the bottom is used to filter out fibre and nuts. See more: peanut butter costing.
The palm oil industry has helped lift millions of people out of poverty in Indonesia and Malaysia, which together account for around 85 per cent of global production. Oil palm plantations have created millions of well-paying jobs, and enabled tens of thousands of smallholder farmers to own their own land. Further reading: puff pastry vs phyllo dough.
It may be safe to say that you use or eat palm oil products daily. However, this product has been linked to cancer risk. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), palm oil can cause cancer when processed at high temperatures. We also wrote cherry mash.
Environmentalists argue that this farming of oil palm trees is extremely bad for the planet. Palm oil production is said to have been responsible for about 8% of the world's deforestation between 1990 and 2008. Some also say that eating palm oil is not good for health, as it is high in saturated fat.
Avoiding palm oil could have worse effects because it might take support away from companies that are trying hard to improve the situation. Palm oil is by far the most efficient vegetable oil to grow as it takes less land to produce than other vegetable oils.
In January 2018, for example, the European Parliament - citing environmental concerns - banned palm oil for biofuels. The European Commission approved this, ignoring the devastating impact the ban would have on millions of smallholder farmers.
Palm oil is largely cultivated in unethical and unsustainable ways. The United Nations calls on countries to treat laborers fairly and to protect the environment. Although 42 countries produce palm oil, Malaysia and Indonesia account for roughly 85% of the market, according to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).
The CPO with low free fatty acid (FFA), less susceptible to oxidation, good bleachability, low trace metals, low insoluble impurities and moisture content, is labeled as good quality oil. In general, the standard quality CPO is defined at 5 % FFA (max), 0.2 % moisture (max) and 0.05 % impurities (max) [1,3, 5] .
Palm oil fresh fruit bunches (FFB)The mill process extracts the palm oil from the flesh of each individual piece of fruit contained on the bunch. The palm kernel, the nut found in the centro of each piece of fruit, is extracted and sent to a palm kernel crushing mill. The oil is extracted from the kernel.
Country factsIndonesia is the largest producer of palm oil, followed by Malaysia - both countries account for 84% of the worlds palm production. There has recently been an increase in palm oil production in South America via Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala.
High in Saturated FatsPalm oil is about 34% saturated fat, while olive oil is less than half of that. Saturated fats are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and chronic health conditions.
Palm oil has a high saturated fat content, which can be harmful to cardiovascular health. However, one study found that, when consumed as part of a balanced diet, “Palm oil does not have incremental risk for cardiovascular disease.”
Palm oil is also free of cholesterol, a waxy substance that can increase your risk of heart disease.
Dietary saturated fat increases LDL. Palm oil contains saturated fat and has thus been touted to be “bad for the heart”.
Palm oil and sunflower oil don't contain water, carbs, proteins, and minerals. They are made of fats. Palm oil has higher saturated fats and vitamin K whereas sunflower oil is higher in unsaturated fats and vitamin E. Sunflower oil is safer for overall health but more expensive.
Coconut oil is a little higher in calories, while palm oil contains a little more fats. Both completely lack protein and carbohydrates and are low in micronutrients. Research suggests that palm oil is a healthier choice than coconut oil when it comes to cardiovascular health, due to a lower saturated fat content.
THE European Union (EU) initially banned palm oil for use in biofuels out of a concern that oil palm cultivation accelerated deforestation and global warming. There are economic effects to the ban on Malaysian palm oil, too.
There is also credible evidence showing that palm oil vitamin E have potential anti-inflammatory properties [19–22].