Top 5 points about palm oil that you need to know

Published on: September 27, 2022

What have you heard about palm oil? Do you know about palm oil production and the ways this sustainable crop contributes to countless products globally? No matter where your base of knowledge about palm oil begins, we have the top five points you need to know about palm oil to give you the most comprehensive outlook possible. Even if you have a negative viewpoint of this vegetable oil, these facts serve to show you the other side of the coin and understand the benefits of palm oil.

Before we delve in, let’s cover the basics. What is palm oil? Palm oil is a vegetable oil that is harvested from the fruit of oil palm trees or Elaeis guineensis. Although it was originally found growing natively in Africa, the bulk of palm oil production now occurs in Indonesia and Malaysia. This crop thrives in a warm, humid environment with substantial rainfall. The production of palm oil began to spread globally in the early 19th century, but it’s believed that use of this product may date back over 5,000 years. Now that we’ve addressed a brief history, let’s learn five key facts about this oil.

    1. Unmatched versatility

First and foremost, one of palm oil’s greatest strengths is its unmatched versatility. Palm oil is found in a wide range of products across the world and for good reason. This is due to a few important properties that make it ideal for use in the formulation of many products. First, palm oil has a higher melting point than many similar vegetable oils, meaning it will maintain solidity in more conditions. Additionally, palm oil has a mild taste and smell, so it does not affect that aspect of the products it is added to. Another benefit is that it improves texture, adding smoothness and creaminess due to its moisturizing properties.

For the reasons listed above, among others, palm oil is featured in many common items that you can find in your grocery store, drugstore, or even already in your pantry. In food products, palm oil is commonly used in packaged items. This includes a wide range of foods, such as cookies, pizza dough, instant noodles, margarine, and ice cream. Especially due to the textural enhancements and high melting point, palm oil serves a valuable purpose in these foods. This versatile oil is also found in cosmetics items like lipstick, cleansers, and creams. Its texture and moisturizing benefits are perfect for these items. Finally, palm oil is also found in biofuel.

    1. High yield

Another fantastic perk of palm oil is its high yield, which is especially impressive when compared to other oils that may otherwise be considered its competitors. Simply stated, it outshines these similar oils by a landslide. The yield of oils is found by calculating how much oil is produced per one hectare of land (equivalent to about 10,000 square meters). Each hectare of land used to produce palm oil creates about 2.9 tons of the product. In comparison to sunflower oil and rapeseed oil, this is about four times greater. When compared to coconut oil, it’s about 10 times greater. These statistics cannot be ignored, as they show that palm oil makes more effective use of the land it’s grown on, making it more efficient than other oils of its kind.

    1. Manufactured in different ways

Depending on what the oil will be used for, different fractions of palm oil are produced, further emphasizing its versatility in how these variations can cater to differing needs.

      • Palm olein: This is the fraction of palm oil that is a liquid at room temperature. Most commonly, this form of palm oil is used for frying food, making it most popular as a cooking oil. This is also the variation used in packaged food items.
      • Palm stearin: This is the solid fraction of palm oil. It has a higher melting point than its olein counterpart. Palm stearin is often used in margarines, shortenings, and nut butters, as its texture and melting point is perfect for these items.


    1. Health benefits

Palm oil contains many nutrients, making it a great addition to one’s diet for health purposes. One of its many benefits is that it can improve brain health through the presence of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can protect the brain’s tissue from free radicals and even slow the growth of brain lesions. This antioxidant is important for bolstering cognitive function.

Another nutritional perk of palm oil is the presence of beta-carotene, which the human body converts to vitamin A. This vitamin is important to the body for a variety of reasons. It is beneficial for the eyes and can boost the immune system. Vitamin A deficiency can take an extremely negative toll on the body, so palm oil is a great way to supplement it.

Finally, heart health is a wonderful perk of palm oil consumption. Palm oil can effectively promote more even levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). It can also slow the progression of heart disease.

  1. Sustainability efforts

Although palm oil has faced criticism over the years for its lackluster ethical and sustainability standards, this oil is not inherently bad for the environment. As previously mentioned, it even has a higher yield than other similar vegetable oils. The issue lies in the practices along the palm oil supply chain, which have historically taken a negative toll on the environment and the workers who were involved in the harvesting and production of this crop. Despite this, organic, sustainably produced palm oil is becoming more prevalent in recent times. Done the correct way, palm oil has the capability to be a very positive element of many products without any harmful effects on ecosystems or communities of people.

Palm oil: a global necessity

In its long history, palm oil has become a staple of endless products that we know and love. It is versatile, efficient, and beneficial to our bodies. And when harvested and manufactured ethically, it has the power to be an all-around incredible product. That’s why Palm Done Right exists – to encourage ethical standards and practices all throughout the palm oil supply chain. Interested in learning more? Find out about the people who are committed to making sure palm oil is done the right way.


Why You Should Get Involved
with Palm Done Right

Palm can be grown for good, bringing benefits to:

  • Our planet, due to palm oil’s land efficiency.
  • Local communities, due to the economic development oil palm production creates.
  • Our market, due to palm oil’s versatility and functionality as an ingredient, lifting product quality and performance.

Together, we can influence change for:

  • Manufacturers that are still using conflict palm oil for their products.
  • Retailers that are still listing products that contain conflict palm oil.
  • Brokers and distributors that are still supplying their customers with products that contain conflict palm oil.
  • Shoppers that have the power to vote with their dollar.

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