Palm fruits can produce two types of oil, palm oil (PO) and palm kernel oil (PKO). Although derived from the same fruit, palm oil has very different physcal, chemical and nutritional properties compared to that of palm kernel oil. Both of oils, have unique chracteristics that are superior compared to that of other oil. However in practice, palm oil is more widely used for more variety of industrial applications compared to the palm kernel oil.

Especially for palm oil, it’s application in the food industry is really wide spread. It has long been known that palm oil cant be used as cooking, as main ingredients for shortening, margarine, and in various other food products. About 90 percent of palm oil produced globally is currently used in food industry in various parts of the world. These long history and wide spread uses has proven that whit the right formulation and technology, palm oil has contributed to the steady supply of safe and high quality food for the world.

Palm oil contains many varieties of fatty acids. Abaout 40% of fatty in palm oil is oleic acid, which is monousaturated fatty acid, about 10% is linoleic, which is polyunsaturated fatty acid, and the rest are, about 45% is palmitic acid and 5% is stearic acid, which both are saturated fatty acid. The balance composition of fatty acids has made palm oil to have a good stability in term of it’s quality.

A balance fatty acids composition has made palm oil suitable for a many variety of applications for for food industry. Due to it’s unique fatty acid composition, palm oil as has a good heat stability and is suitable for deep fat frying process. In addition, food products formulated with palm oil may have better shelf life due to better oxidative stability.

A naturally balanced fatty acids compositions has made palm oil in the form of semi-solid. Due to this physical properties, in the native form (without hydrogenation process) palm oil can be used as ingredient of many veriety of solid food. This is particularly important due to the fact that hydrogenation process (especially partial hydrogenation) has been identified as the factor for the formation of trans fatty acids, which are not good for human health.

Many food and nutrition authoritative institutions has developed nutrition guideline recommending that total amount of fat in the menu should not more that 30% of total calories. This means that if the recommended daily calories is 2000 kcal, then the calories from fat should not more that 630 kcal or equivalent to 67 grams of fat. In this case, many researches and long history of uses has proven that if it is used as part of low fat diet (i.e. diet with fat content of less than 30% of total energy, as recommended), appropriate consumption of  palm oil has positive impact on health.

Sumber : GAPKI


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