Oils and fats are important ingredients in a diet. Oils are a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats and we all need some fat in our diets. It’s all about getting the right balance of the different types of fat that keeps us healthy. Vegetable oils are mostly rich in unsaturated fats and saturated fats mostly come from animal foods. There are many different types of oils available these days and many people purchase different oils for different purposes. Palm oil is one such oil which is widely used worldwide.
What is Palm oil? What are its uses?
Palm oil is produced from the fruit of oil palm which is extensively grown in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is semi-solid at room temperature and is used in making cosmetics, soaps, baked goods, confectionery, detergents, etc. So, 3 industries mainly use it. The food industry, cosmetics, and biofuel. It is also used as a natural preservative in processed foods.
What are the benefits of Palm oil?
It is naturally semi-solid at room temperature, it does not require hydrogenation for use as a food ingredient. It is the least expensive oil and is used in cooking especially in West African countries. There are some studies that say that it is good for brain and heart health.
Palm oil has almost equal quantities of saturated fats and half unsaturated. It has Vitamin E and Carotenoids on it. These are converted to Vitamin A for better absorption in the body.
Land use efficiency of Palm oil –
Do you know palm oil needs less land compared to any other oil seeds? Due to this, you can use more land to grow other food grains and vegetables.
Oil palms occupy a smaller proportion of all the land that is used for oil and fat production than any other oil fruit. At the same time, it accounts for the largest proportion of worldwide oil production – around 32 percent. Sunflowers, coconut, and soybeans all have a yield per hectare that is on average just one-third that of palm oil. – Forumpanel.org
Why it is always targeted or why is it controversial?
For many people, the choice of oil is based on the price, flavour or health benefits of the oil. In terms of the health benefits, you can’t say one is better than others. As no one knows enough about the specific effects of the different oils to claim that any particular oil is better than another. Indeed, most people consume many different oils each day. But Palm oil is often a targe or is in the news due to its benefits. According to some people, there are some issues related to deforestaion but nothing is proven. Still, it is one of the most widely-used oils in the world due to its properties, benefits, and uses.
Palm oil is important for global food security and economic development. There are many talks going on about achieving sustainability in its production. Please visit their website https://www.mpoc.org.in to know more.