Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Healthy Living with Palm Oil theme of Malaysian Palm Oil Council event
Saturday, 22 December, 2018, 15 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) hosted an event on Healthy Living with Palm Oil in Pune recently. Bhavna Shah, regional head, India and Sri Lanka, MPOC, and Dr Meena Mehta, associate professor, food science, and nutritionist were the speakers at the event, which was aimed at upholding Malaysian palm oil with metropolitan Indians who are willing to enjoy delicacies and are health-conscious as well.

They spoke about the benefits of palm oil, a vegetable oil produced from the oil palm fruit. Malaysia and Indonesia are responsible for producing about 85 per cent of the world’s palm oil, while other producers include Thailand, Columbia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and Ecuador.
Palm oil is found in almost 50 per cent of food products in the supermarket, from chocolates to biscuits, cakes, crackers, cookies and peanut butter to ice cream. Its derivatives and fractions are common ingredients in these food products. In addition, oleochemicals derived from palm are also used in the production of personal care products, detergents and household cleaning products.
In the key note address, Shah said that the food industry loved palm oil because of its versatility, its ease of use in various food applications and ability to prolong the shelf life of food products.

One of the important functions which enables food manufacturers to use palm oil in their products is the replacement of partially hydrogenated unsaturated oils, which contain trans fatty acids and promote heart disease. Palm oil is a fruit oil, just like olive oil, and is non-genetically modified (GM).

Palm oil is extracted from the flesh of the fruit or mesocarp, while palm kernel oil is obtained from the oil palm seed (kernel). Both palm oil and palm kernel oil have different properties which enable usage in different food and non-food applications.
Palm oil and palm kernel oil are refined and processed to produce various fractions. Palm oil is fractionated into palm olein which is the liquid fraction, high in monounsaturated oleic acid. This is the primary cooking oil used in tropical and sub-temperate regions of the world.
Palm stearin is the solid fraction from palm fruit oil and is trans free. It is widely used in bakery and confectionary. Palm kernel oil is used widely as coating and confectionery fats and as cocoa butter substitutes. Palm kernel oil can also be fractionated into palm kernel olein and palm kernel stearin.
There are over 300 scientific publications on palm oil health in animal models, cell culture studies and human dietary intervention trials which describe in detail the nutritional effects and benefits of palm oil and its components.
Several human studies found that palm oil consumption has a relatively neutral effect on blood cholesterol and shown to increase the good HDL-cholesterol. Thus, the claim which is made about palm oil clogging the arteries and increasing blood cholesterol level is unproven conclusively in science.
Shah said, “India stands today as the world’s largest vegetable oil buyer and is responsible for about 17 per cent of the global palm oil consumption. With our 1.3 billion people, India is both the world’s largest consumer as well as the biggest importer of palm oil. Most of the Indian packaged food is prepared in palm oil, but the consumers are not aware of its health benefits.”

Her presentation was followed by one by Dr Mehta, who spoke about In a common man’s life daily food intake plays a major role to health and wellness. A balanced diet must be composed of all the nutrients in proper proportion. It means low carbohydrate, moderate fat and high protein.

Intake of fat also play important role in maintaining the integrity of health. Fat in terms of edible oil consists of different essential fatty acids. Amongst this, MUFA, PUFA and SFA, along with omega acids, are considered to be important for health.

Many vegetable oils have different proportions of these essential fatty acids. WHO has recommended a balanced proportion of these fatty acids to remain physically fit. Palm oil is rich in SFA content and moderate amount of health beneficial PUFA and MUFA.

Palm oil is largely used in kitchens for cooking purposes because of various advantages. Palm oil has antioxidant properties, which are useful in providing an additional shelf life to fried food products. It has various health benefits and can provide a shield against cardio-vascular diseases (CVDs) and many chronic heath disorders.

MPOC is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Its principal objective is to create awareness about palm oil, especially Malaysian palm oil, but it does not get involved in the actual trading of palm oil or any other commodity.
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steven horton 2018-12-24 13:19:45
How can MPOC be right if WHO stated trans fats must reach 0.02gms/100gms by 2022. Then shortly after that it has encouraged 65 countries to ban Palm & palm blends together with partially hydrogenated fats. Could the reason be that the truth about palm oils is for a time period prior to its use in the wok, fryer or in the manufacturing process at high temperatures , with exposure to air, water & high temperatures. Moreover 99% of all the FREE world Literature states palm is unstable and has a low Oxidation measurement 15 hours versus 53 for Monounsaturated oils. Given this fact then its value to the vast majority of consumers seeking healthy food is going to be dependent on how the oil is used. I guess 65 counties can not be wrong and only 3 countries be right - surely it is the other way around...

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