Palm Oil is a vegetable oil that comes from Palm Trees. Palm Oil Trees are a native of Africa. Palm oil is used for cosmetic, detergents and even biofuel. There are two types of oil; crude palm oil (squeezed from the fleshy fruit) and palm kernel oil (crushing the middle fruit).
PRODUCTION OF PALM OIL
It as a productive life of 25 – 30 years. The seeds are grown in the nursery where they watered and keep well for 8 months, before being transplanted to the plantation.
In the plantation, the trees are fertilized. After 30 months they are matured and ready for harvest. This process will be repeated every 7 – 10 days.
The palm oil fruit grows in dense bunches and the harvester uses a long sickle to remove it from the palm tree.
The harvested palm oil bunches are transported from the plantations to the mills, where they are sterilized using stream. It also prepares the bunches for stripping which will remove the palm fruit from the bunch and deactivates any enzymes.
Once the bunches have been stripped, the waste is reused. The long fibres in the stalks can be used to make mattresses and car seat cushions while the empty fruit bunches are taken to the soil to retain moisture.
After being stripped, the palm fruit is processed into two main products:
Crude Palm Oil; which extracted from the mesocarp or flesh of the fruit and
Palm Kernel Oil; which comes from the seed in the centre.
The Crude Palm Oil is then screened and clarified to meet standard specification. It is then transferred to a refinery where it is processed into edible oils (cooking oil, cream and margarine), oleochemicals (used in detergents and lubricants), biodiesel (fuel) and lauric acids (used in cosmetics and soaps).
BENEFITS OF PALM OIL
- Reducing cholesterol levels
- Reducing oxidative stress
- Boosting brain health
- Slowing heart diseases
- Increasing vitamin, A
- Improving skin and hair health