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An edible vegetable oil derived from reddish pulp of the fruit of the oil

A low cost oil used for cooking purposes , commercial foods and many
other industries.

A highly saturated vegetable fat like palm kernel oil and coconut oil

The most widely produced oil in the world (around 59 Mn MT).


COLOUR:Naturally reddish in colour (due to high β-carotene content).

Structure of β-carotene:

STATE:Semisolid at room temperature.

Melting point = 34.2°C (not sharp)
Refractive index = 1.46
Relative density (50 °C/water at 25 °C) = 0.89 - 0.92
SAP value = 196 - 208.2
IV = 47 - 55.83


Composed of fatty acids esterified with glycerol with 49% saturated fat
The annual revenue received by Indonesia and Malaysia together, the
top two producers of palm oil was $40 billion.
The product obtained is termed as "refined, bleached and
deodorized palm oil" (RBDPO)

The refined and processed palm oil is also called as ‘White Palm
Oil’ and is used in processed foods and as shortenings.

Palm oil uses are widely varied because they can be processed
and blended to produce a vast range of products with different

1. Consumer retail foods: Fractions and derivatives of palm oil

are used in a variety of processed foods like cooking oil, peanut
butter, cakes and cookies, coffee whiteners, chocolates and as

2. Butter and trans fat substitute: Refined palm oil in temperate

conditions is a cheap substitute for butter or trans fats in uses
where solid fat is required. It is a reasonable replacement for
trans fats but not a healthy substitute.

3. Bioenergy: Palm oil is to used to produce both methyl ester and

hydrodeoxygenated biodiesel through transesterification and
direct hydrogenolysis of the fat into alkanes and propane

Transesterification: The process of exchanging the organic

group R″ of an ester with the organic group R′ of an alcohol. For
fats(triglycerides) specifically, it is the reaction of the fat with suitable
alcohol in homogeneously alkaline catalyzed media accompanied with
recovery of glycerol.

Hydrogenolysis: A chemical reaction whereby a carbon–carbon or

carbon–heteroatom single bond is cleaved or undergoes lysis
(breakdown) by hydrogen. The heteroatom may vary, but it
usually is oxygen, nitrogen, or sulphur.

4. Industrial uses: Soap manufacture, detergents and

cosmetics(mainly palm kernel oil).
Rs. 595.10 per 10 Kgs.

Environmental and Social Impact

1. Deforestation: Wide cultivation leading to the clearing of

forests in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia.

2. Loss of Natural habitats: Threat to critically endangered

species like the Sumatran orangutan and other species.

3. Land acquisition: Oil palm plantations have developed lands

without consultation of the indigenous people occupying the
land resulting in social conflict.

4. Lack of food resources: The extensive use of palm oil for

biodiesel over food resources and inadequate land for crop
cultivation is a matter of concern for developing nations
producing palm oil.


1. Palm oil is a staple food commodity as it contributes to significant

calories as a source of fat.
2. On average globally, humans consumed 17 pounds (7.7 kg) of
palm oil per person

3. Palm oil is not a suggested option for oil consumption as it

increases LDL levels and total cholesterol and so increases risk of
cardiovascular diseases because of major saturated fat content.

4. Palm oil and saturated fats should be replaced with

polyunsaturated fats in the diet.

5. The vitamin E content of palm oil is partially lost as a result of