The Palm Oil Saga !

                    When we speak about Palm oil, we have always referred to it as the Poor man’s oil and in addition heard about its impact on environment in terms of deforestation as well as on health concerns on consuming the same but it is always good to get the right facts from the folks who are directly involved with the thick and thin of Palm Oil and its products and thats the Malaysian Palm Oil Council ( MPOC). 

                MPOC arranged a Bloggers meet which was a great session that ran us through the details, use, benefits and myths associated with Palm oil.Very Insightful, Informative and thought provoking meet aimed at improving understanding of the palm oil as well as throwing some light on the negative perception that is built around the consumption and use of this oil and the plantation as a whole. This write up is to share some of the information that we gained as part of this meet

So, get seated like we did with our comfy chairs and sink in the palm oil saga.

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To start with , there are 2 types of oil that come from the Palm.

  • Palm Oil comes from the flesh of the fruit and is physically and chemically different from the Palm Kernel Oil.
  • Palm Kernel Oil comes from the seed or kernel at the core of the palm fruit.

There are also certain fractions of Palm Oil , the details of which are as mentioned below –

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Each of these different fractions or types are used in a lot of areas and varies in use and  benefit.

Palm Oil  and Palm Kernel Oil Applications 

This oil is applied and made use of in quite a few instances , some of them being

  • Margarine – which is basically an emulsion of water-in-fat, resembling butter in appearance, character and composition
  • Vegetable Ghee or Vanaspati –  An alternative to ghee, usually made from a blend of vegetables oils mostly being palm, soybean, rapeseed or cottonseed oil which when hydrogenated gives it that solid appearance.Palm oil products can impart the solid fats content naturally and avoid hydrogenation.
  • Shortening – Which is basically a tenderiser to impart a tender quality to baked products.
  • Soaps 
  • Personal Care products like cream and lotion
  • Palm based Non-diary Ice creams and Creamers

Palm Oil is used extensively in large scale Industrial Frying mainly for Instant Noodles, Potato crisps, French Fries and in Restaurants. Though not used on a large scale in India, China , Japan ,Indonesia and Middle East are some of the major producers and consumers of Palm oil.

Why Palm Oil ?

With Palm oil not so extensively heard of or used in India, all of us have questions around it. Here is a snapshot that would help one to gather some interesting facts about this oil.

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In addition to the above, there are also certain good benefits that are linked to the use of this oil. Here is a glance of the same.
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Though there are a lot of negative notions around Palm oil, some of these facts and benefits are eye opener’s to the good in it. Some of the negative perceptions are just myths and it is up to us to get the facts right and decide on how good or bad the palm oil actually is. To help understand more on the facts and the work done by MPOC, refer to the below links.

The meet was a great event to understand the basics to benefits of Palm Oil amidst some fun and frolic ! Here are some pics from the event itself 

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And of course, what better way to end an interesting and informative session with some great food from the event hosts – Vivanta by Taj , Bangalore.

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Do let me know your thoughts and feedback on this write up and your experiences with Palm oil as well !

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