Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of oil palm trees, the scientific name being Elaeis guineensis. Oil Palm Trees are native to Africa but were brought to South-East Asia just over 100 years ago as an ornamental tree crop. Now, Indonesia and Malaysia make up over 85% of global supply but there are 42 other countries that also produce palm oil.
Palm oil is very versatile oil having a wide range of properties and functions that makes it so useful and so widely used. It is semi solid at room temperature so can keep spreads spreadable; it is resistant to oxidation so can give products a longer shelf life; it is stable at high temperatures and so helps to give fried products a crispy and crunchy texture; it is also an odourless and colourless oil so doesn’t alter the look or smell of food products. In Asian and African countries, palm oil is used widely as cooking oil.
Irrespective of Palm Oil being widely used in the manufacturing of food products; confectionary items; soaps and detergents; industrial products, Palm oil manufacturing is facing problem.
Why should Palm Oil be used?
Palm oil is an incredibly efficient crop, producing more oil per land area than any other equivalent vegetable oil crop. Unrefined palm oil and crude palm oil are nature’s richest source of carotenoids as compared to the other vegetable oils. Palm Oil can grow well where there is plenty of sunshine and rain. Malaysia provides this favourable climatic condition for the growth of Palm Oil. However care needs to be taken in order to grow healthy and fruitful palm trees. The Palm Oil Tree is highly profitable. The high yield of palm oil can continue for almost 30 years. Palm Oil is a rich source of Vitamin E and Vitamin A. It does not contain cholesterol and helps lower the risk of Heart Attacks. . It is a purely vegan oil.
The Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar jointly organised with MPOC made its way to India, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam in 2019 to reflect on the current issues that surround the Palm Oil Industry. Palm Oil is an important crop for the GDP of emerging economies and there are millions of small holder farmers who depend on producing palm oil for their livelihood. Boycotting Palm Oil is not the answer to the problem but taking action and handling the issue with care and faster is the key to solve this increasing problem of Palm Oil trees.
What are the benefits of Palm oil :
According to studies, palm oil increases the good HDL cholesterol without raising the overall cholesterol levels. It is also effective at reducing the level of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol that is linked to heart disease.
“It also contains essential fatty acids required for bone, joint and skin health. Palm oil has a low polyunsaturated fat content – a contrast to its richness in antioxidants like vitamin E, tocotrienols and beta-carotene, combined to give the oil a distinctive reddish tint.
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