How is Palm Oil made?

Palm oil is extracted from the mesocarp of the the reddish pulp of the fruit of oil palms. These palm oils grow in Asia, Africa, and South America. Around the equator, at least 17 million hectares of this crop has been established in 2015.

” Palm oil (also known as dendê oil , from Portuguese [ˈdɛnde]) is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of the fruit of the oil palms, primarily the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis, and to a lesser extent from the American oil palm Elaeis oleifera and the marina palm Attalea maripa.

Palm oil is naturally reddish in color because of a high beta-carotene content. It is not to be confused with palm kernel oil derived from the kernel of the same fruit, or coconut oil derived from the kernel of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). The differences are in color (raw palm kernel oil lacks carotenoids and is not red), and in saturated fat content: palm mesocarp oil is 49% saturated, while palm kernel oil and coconut oil are 81% and 86% saturated fats, respectively. However, crude red palm oil that has been refined, bleached and deodorized, a common commodity called RBD palm oil, does not contain carotenoids.

Along with coconut oil, palm oil is one of the few highly saturated vegetable fats and is semisolid at room temperature. Palm oil is a common cooking ingredient in the tropical belt of Africa, Southeast Asia and parts of Brazil. Its use in the commercial food industry in other parts of the world is widespread because of its lower cost and the high oxidative stability (saturation) of the refined product when used for frying. One source reported that humans consumed an average 17 pounds (7.7 kg) of palm oil per person in 2015.

The use of palm oil in food products has attracted the concern of environmental activist groups; the high oil yield of the trees has encouraged wider cultivation, leading to the clearing of forests in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia to make space for oil-palm monoculture. This has resulted in significant acreage losses of the natural habitat of the two surviving species of orangutan. One species, in particular, the Sumatran orangutan, has been listed as critically endangered. In 2004, an industry group called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was formed to work with the palm oil industry to address these concerns. Additionally, in 1992, in response to concerns about deforestation, the Government of Malaysia pledged to limit the expansion of palm oil plantations by retaining a minimum of half the nation’s land as forest cover. In March 2017, a documentary made by DW Germany revealed that palm oil is also used to make milk replacers/milk substitutes that are now used to make milk to feed calves in dairies in the German Alps. These milk substitutes contain 30% milk powder and a remainder of raw protein which is in turn made of skimmed milk powder, whey powder and vegetable fats, mostly coconut oil and palm oil.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_oil

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