Palm oil

Palm oil is a plant product made from the fruits of oil palm. The birthplace of culture is Western Guinea. It is ideal for the manufacture of confectionery products intended for long-term storage. It is interesting that since 2015, the production of palm oil on an industrial scale exceeded 2.5 times the production of other vegetable oils (sunflower, soybean, rapeseed). By the amount of vitamin A, it is a record holder among food products, ahead of even fish oil. Does not contain cholesterol.

Currently, the Swiss company Nestlé annually acquires more than 420,000 tons of palm oil per year for food production. Disputes about its benefits and harms have not subsided so far. The abundance of unsaturated fats, carotenoids, and the strongest antioxidants have a therapeutic effect on the human body. They reduce the likelihood of cancer, provide energy, participate in the structuring of bones, the production of visual pigment of the retina, and are useful for joints and skin. The damage to the product is due to the high content of saturated fats, which are processed and remain in the form of slag. These refractory substances trap the intestines and blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease.


The following types of oils are extracted from the fruits of oil palm: palm raw materials, palm kernel. This is the most common and cheapest product among vegetable fats. Due to this, it is widely used in food production.

Currently, oil palm is cultivated in South America, West Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

Crude oil is obtained by processing the pulp of the fetus, which contains up to 70% fat. Only the product that has gone through several stages of refining is suitable for food. Otherwise, crude oil is used only for technical purposes - for the manufacture of candles, soap and lubrication of spare parts.

Production principle

On the plantations, they collect fruits that are transported to the plant for the purpose of further processing. The collected clusters are treated with dry hot steam to separate them. After that, the fruit pulp is pre-sterilized, then pressed. The resulting raw material is heated to 100 degrees and placed in a centrifuge to separate the liquid and impurities.

Stages of oil refining:

  • elimination of mechanical impurities;
  • hydration (extraction of phospholipids);
  • neutralization (removal of free fatty acids);
  • whitening;
  • deodorization.

Palm kernel oil is a product obtained by extraction or pressing of kernels from seeds. The degree of digestibility is 97%.

Varieties of palm oil used in the food industry:

  1. Standard. It melts at a temperature of 36-39 degrees. Scope: baking and frying. In the course of preparation does not create smoke and burning. Products cooked in standard palm oil should be consumed in a warm form. Otherwise, the dish will harden and become covered with an unaesthetic film.
  2. Olein. The melting point of the product is 16-24 degrees. It is used for frying meat and dough. It has a cream consistency. Widely used in the cosmetics industry.
  3. Stearin. It has the highest melting point among the three varieties of oil. It is 48-52 degrees. It is the hardest fraction of palm oil. Branches of application: cosmetology, metallurgy, food industry. It is part of margarine.

A distinctive feature of palm oil from other vegetable oils is its solid consistency. The longer the product is stored, the higher its melting point becomes. So, in fresh palm oil, it is 27 degrees. And a product with a week-long exposure time increases to 42 degrees.

Oil is a source of fat-soluble vitamins A, E, K. The just-made palm product has a light orange color due to its high beta-carotene content. The food industry uses exclusively bleached oil. To do this, it is heated in an oven to 200 degrees, cooled. Under the influence of ultraviolet radiation and oxygen, the natural dye beta-carotene is destroyed, as a result, palm oil is discolored, partially loses its value.

Chemical composition

884 kcal is concentrated in 100 ml of palm oil, with 99.7 g of fat and 0.1 g of water. The chemical composition of the product is represented by vitamins E (33.1 mg), A (30 mg), B4 (0 , 3 mg), K (0.008 mg) and phosphorus (2 mg). Sterols account for 100 mg. In addition, traces of lecithin, phytosterols, squalene, and coenzyme Q10 were found.

According to the results of studies, it was found that the oil contains palmitic acid, enhancing the natural generation of cholesterol. As a result, the human body begins to intensively produce an organic compound in an uncontrolled amount, which in turn increases the risk of clogging of blood vessels and the development of heart disease.

Fat composition of palm oil
ComponentsContent in 100 grams of product, grams
Saturated Fatty Acids
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

The World Health Organization strongly recommends reducing fatty acid intake. Palm and butter, chocolate, lard, cream, meat, eggs are also considered dangerous foods. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the maximum permissible level of fatty acid consumption is 10% of human energy consumption, including alcohol. In other words, with a caloric content of oil of 884 kcal per 100 ml and a content of 44% palmitic acid in it, a safe daily dose of squeezed palm fruit is 10 ml, provided that there are no other sources of fatty acids in the diet.

Influence on the body of infants

As a result of clinical studies, it was found that infant formula containing palm olein reduces the absorption of calcium, in comparison with food, in which the product is not included. And the digestibility of the macronutrient decreases from 57.4% to 37.5%.

In addition to lowering calcium absorption, fat loss with stools increases. It becomes more dense and less frequent.

Impaired absorption of the macroelement is due to the special arrangement of palmitic acid relative to the fat molecule of palm olein. Under normal conditions, it is in a lateral position. After starting the process of digesting baby food in the intestine, it is split off, binding calcium in a free state. As a result, insoluble salts are formed: calcium palmitate. In fact, this soap, which is not absorbed in the digestive tract, but in transit, is excreted in the stool.

To avoid blocking the absorption of the mineral, the position of palmitic acid is artificially changed in olein. Such a product is called beta palmitate. As a result, the structured oil with palmitic acid is in a central position in the composition of milk fat, does not break down, does not form soap with calcium and is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract unchanged.

Myths or reality

Palm oil is a product that causes a lot of controversy and misconception regarding its benefits and harms. Some argue that this is a natural source of tocopherols, beta-carotene, others insist that it is transformed into plasticine in the human body and clogs bowel obstruction. In addition, there is an opinion that the raw materials for the production of oil are transported in oil tankers, as a result, it poses a threat to human health and causes cancer.

Consider the main guesses about oil and fat products, and whether they have a reasonable basis for existence.

Myth # 1 "Palm oil contains dangerous trans fats."

It is not true. These compounds are not part of the product. What is the danger of trans fats? They replace useful fatty acids at the molecular level from cell membranes, disrupting cell nutrition and blocking enzymes. As a result, metabolic reactions slow down, which leads to the development of chronic diseases of the endocrine, digestive, cardiovascular, genitourinary systems.

Myth No. 2 "Industrial palm oil is used for production, brought in oil tanks from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Lying. The raw materials used for the manufacture of oil must meet the requirements for food products, otherwise it is prohibited for use at the legislative level of the country. In addition, it is additionally cleaned, subjected to deodorization, as a result of which it loses its color, smell and taste.

Transportation stories are nothing more than fiction from competitors. For the transportation of palm oil, specially equipped tanks are used that meet all safety requirements. Before loading the raw materials, the tank containers are thoroughly cleaned (steamed, washed, dried) from the remnants of the previous product. In addition, it is forbidden to transport palm oil in containers where previously there were non-food, toxic cargoes. Product transportation is controlled by international organizations.

Myth No. 3 "Palm oil is not valuable to the human body."

Invalid statement. It is a source of coenzyme Q10, carotenoids, tocotrients, tocopherols, polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3,6), vitamins B4, F.

In the process of choosing oil for food purposes, remember that refined and deodorized products are cleaned of impurities and partially devoid of nutrients. Therefore, preference is given to unrefined species. Such oils should not be subjected to heat treatment, they are best used as a food additive to salads. These products include red palm oil. It fully preserves all the useful properties listed above.

Myth No. 4 "Palm oil is extracted from the trunk of a palm tree."

This is a misconception. The product is obtained exclusively from the fruits of oil palm by squeezing it from the nucleolus or pulp. The main feature is a solid consistency from nature. Interestingly, the farther south the tree grows, the more saturated fatty acids are contained in the fruit, and the farther north the more PUFA. Because of this, the oil obtained in southern tropical countries has a solid structure. This property of the product provides the desired form of finished food and confectionery.

Myth No. 5 "Palm oil, entering the stomach, behaves like plasticine - it does not melt, but is a sticky mass that sticks the body from the inside."

An absurd conclusion. When it enters the digestive tract, the product acquires the consistency of an emulsion. Palm oil is absorbed in the body in the same way as other foods. In moderation (10 ml), it does not pose a risk to human health. According to the postulates of a healthy diet, the recommended rate of fat in an adult's diet should not exceed 30% of the total amount of energy consumed. Of these, MFAs and PUFAs account for 6–10% each, and saturated fatty acids — up to 10%.

Myth number 6 "Manufacturers prefer palm oil because of the cheapness of raw materials."

Indeed it is true. The low cost of oil is due to the high productivity of plantations of the main suppliers of raw materials (Indonesia and Malaysia). In addition, it is very technological. The solid structure of the product makes it attractive for use in the food industry (confectionery and bakery). Previously used liquid oils, which were subjected to hydrogenation for compaction and hardening. As a result, they accumulated dangerous trans fats and harmed the body. A modern alternative is palm oil. It is safe and of high quality from nature.

Myth number 7 "Food products with palm oil in developed countries are banned"

It is not true. There is no ban on palm oil in any country. Moreover, he owns 58% of the consumption of vegetable fats in the world market.

Health hazard

Palm oil is an integral component of cookies, sweets, chips, cheese, ice cream, french fries. At the present time, it is difficult to find a product without this ingredient. However, the "passion" overseas fat poses a danger to human health.

Harm palm oil.

It is deposited in fat as quickly as possible

Despite the fact that palm oil is of vegetable origin, it is similar in composition to animal triglycerides because it contains predominantly monounsaturated, saturated fatty acids. The most dangerous component of the product is considered palmitic acid, which causes diseases of the cardiovascular system. In addition, the oil accelerates the rate of deposition of fat in the "fat depot", which contributes to the rapid gain in body weight. Sour cream, cheeses, ice cream, cream, chips, french fries, chocolate, sweets, cookies - products that already lead to weight problems, and they are additionally "enriched" with palmitic acid and palm oil.

Provokes Type II Diabetes

Palmitic acid, which is part of the product, contributes to the deposition of fat in internal organs and tissues.


Fatty acids "hit" the brain, as a result, the body's susceptibility to hormones that inform about satiety (insulin and leptin) decreases. Thus, he does not give a signal that you need to stop eating. Palmitic acid suppresses the ability of insulin and leptin to activate, which explains the person’s dependence on fatty foods.

Harms the liver

Palmitic acid is not completely excreted from the human body. Accumulating in the pancreas, thymus, liver, and skeletal muscle, it replaces healthy organs with fat cells. In addition, ceramides included in palmitic acid provoke rupture of nerve cells and the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease.

Increases "bad" cholesterol from low density lipoproteins

With the regular receipt of these compounds from the outside, they turn into biological “garbage” in the circulatory system. As a result, the body’s immune cells regard them as foreign bodies, which increases the risk of forming atherosclerotic plaques in the vessels that are prone to rupture and blood clots.

Palm oil should not be consumed by people over 50 years old, children under 18 years of age, people with digestive tract ailments in the acute phase, osteopenia and osteoporosis, heart diseases.

Remember, with regular intake of the product, fatty acids begin to accumulate in the cell biomembranes. As a result, their transport functions are disrupted, which contributes to sexual dysfunction, the development of vascular and heart diseases. The most dangerous combination of palm oil with carbohydrates, which leads to obesity and atherosclerosis.

Beneficial features

Palm oil is one of the most affordable herbal products, widely used in cosmetology, the food industry, and in the manufacture of soaps, candles, powders, and medicines. The latter, in turn, are aimed at eliminating problems with gastrointestinal tract diseases, blood vessels, heart, eyes.

Characteristics of palm oil: reddish-reddish color, solid consistency, resistance to oxidation processes. The natural product exhibits pronounced antibacterial and wound healing properties, prevents the occurrence of inflammatory reactions.

Palm oil health benefits:

  1. Fights free radicals. It is a powerful antioxidant rich in carotenoids. Improves the condition of hair and skin. It prolongs youth, reduces the likelihood of developing cancer. In addition, antioxidants resist skin aging, inhibiting age-related changes in the body.
  2. It supplies energy to the body due to the high fat content, fights fatigue syndrome, psychoemotional disorders, improves human memory, attention and mental abilities.
  3. It reduces the risk of vascular blockage and the development of heart failure, stroke, heart attack, hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary disease, respectively.
  4. It improves the performance of the analyzer of vision (due to provitamin A), makes it possible to produce a pigment located in the retina and responsible for the visibility of the eye. It normalizes intraocular pressure, protects the cornea and lens, improves blood supply to the visual organ. Used for the prevention and treatment of "night blindness", glaucoma, conjunctivitis, tired eye syndrome.
  5. Prevents inflammation of the digestive system, stimulates the secretion of bile, accelerates the healing of erosion on the mucous membrane of the stomach, intestines. It is recommended for use by people suffering from colitis, gastritis, ulcers, cholecystitis, gallstone disease.
  6. Regulates the hormonal background in women, maintains normal estrogen levels, and relieves inflammation of the ovaries, breast, and uterus (vitamins A, E). Used to relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, menopause. For treated purposes, a tampon with palm oil is inserted into the vagina to eliminate erosion of the cervix, vaginitis, colpitis.

PUFAs, which are part of the oil, are involved in the structuring of the skeletal system, increase joint mobility.

With regular use of natural red palm oil, starting at the age of 30, osteoporosis, which in 60% of cases in women during menopause, and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, can be avoided. Otherwise, there is a restructuring of the bone structure, it becomes thinner, calcium is washed out, the mineral strength of the skeleton is lost, and with minor loads, fractures occur. The main danger of osteoporosis is a slow but progressive disease, which as a result leads to vertebral trauma, disability and even death among the elderly.

Application in traditional medicine

For medicinal purposes, red palm oil is used, which is characterized by a high content of provitamin A (carotenoids), which exhibit powerful antioxidant properties and level saturated fatty acids (50%) in the product, which cause the growth of low density lipoproteins in the blood. Useful properties: inhibits platelet aggregation, reduces the likelihood of heart attack and cataracts, lowers blood pressure, activates hepatic enzymes, reduces oxidative stress, and heals stomach ulcers. The oil has neuro- and cardioproductive effects, nourishes the skin, heals the liver, prevents hypovitaminosis, and supports visual acuity. The recommended daily dose of natural untreated red palm oil for an adult is 10 ml. To avoid calcium-phosphorus metabolism, it is allowed to use it from 18 to 50 years. Do not cook.

Recipes for maintaining health:

  1. With skin damage (from burns, cuts). Apply palm oil to the problem area twice a day for 14 days.
  2. To relieve inflammation in the oral cavity and treat periodontal disease. Soak a sterile gauze in oil, attach to the gums. Therapy is carried out for 2 weeks.
  3. From cracks in the nipples. To heal wounds during breastfeeding, palm oil is heated in a water bath (for the purpose of disinfection), and the nipples are lubricated with it every time the baby is applied to the breast. Repeat the procedure until the cracks heal.
  4. From cervical erosion. From a sterile gauze or cotton swab, form a swab, soak in heated palm oil, enter vaginally. The course of treatment is 10 days. The procedure is carried out a day after consulting a doctor.
  5. For the treatment of lichen, eczema, psoriasis. Ingredients: walnut oil (20 ml) and from the fruits of red palm (80 ml), tar of birch (3 g). Combine the ingredients, mix. Apply ointment 2 times a day for 2 weeks.
  6. With joint diseases. To relieve pain with gout, problem areas are massaged by rubbing the therapeutic composition. Ointment ingredients: 15 ml of palm, 25 ml of stone grape, 5 drops of lemon and pine, 10 drops of lavender oil. To relieve arthritis pain, the joints are rubbed using the following composition: 5 drops of pine essential oil, 3 drops of lemon and lavender, 15 ml of olive and palm.

The greatest value for the human body is provided by the first cold pressed oil. It is characterized by a rich fatty acid composition and a low degree of oxidation. For eating and preparing medical recipes for external use, it is recommended to give preference to red palm oil with a maximum content of beta-carotene, which is 15 times higher than that of this substance in carrots.

Application in cosmetology

The product obtained from the fruits of oil palm shows a strong emollient effect, therefore it is recommended for the care of flaky, coarse, dry and aging skin. In addition, manufacturers use it as a component to give a solid consistency to cosmetics. Palm oil tones, nourishes the dermis, increases its firmness and elasticity, smoothes shallow wrinkles, providing anti-aging properties.

Use in home cosmetology:

  1. To moisturize the face. Mix palm oil in a 1: 1 ratio with olive oil, apply to wet skin with patting movements. Apply the composition in courses for 2 weeks with a 10-day break.
  2. To rejuvenate the dermis. Mix palm and apricot oil in equal proportions, apply to washed skin in the evening, for a quarter of an hour. Do not remove excess with a cloth, leave until completely absorbed. The procedure is carried out regularly for 14 days.
  3. To nourish hair. Apply oil on the scalp and moist curls, leave for 1.5 hours, rinse thoroughly. The procedure is repeated twice a month. Remember, palm oil is poorly washed off the hair, so the mask is done before washing the hair.
  4. To relax the body. Massage with the use of oil normalizes sleep, soothes, improves blood circulation, smoothes wrinkles.
  5. To eliminate cellulite, geranium oil (7 drops) is mixed with palm (15 ml), olive (5 ml), lemon and dill (5 drops), the resulting mixture is rubbed with massage movements into problem areas twice a day. In addition, during the fight against orange peel, it is important to perform physical exercises, adhere to proper nutrition and drink more than 2 liters of water per day.
  6. For smoothing postoperative scars. Ingredients: clove oil, peppermint oil (2 drops each), lavender, rosemary (4 drops each) and palm oil (15 ml). Apply to an uneven area 1-2 times a day for 10 days, then take a break for 1-2 weeks, resume procedures.

Palm oil is a product that has a wide range of effects on the human body. It is used externally for body shaping, skin and hair condition improvement, body relaxation, joint pain relief, healing of cracks and wounds. And inside for vitaminization of the body with antioxidants A and E, lecithin and coenzyme Q10.


Palm oil is a useful and very expensive product until the multilevel purification of raw materials. After the strongest treatment, it oxidizes, loses its nutritional value for the human body. Do not compromise the health of loved ones. Introduce only red palm oil (maximum 10 ml per day) into the diet that has not undergone heat treatment. Otherwise, palmitic acid, which is part of the product, worsens bone mineralization in children, disrupts metabolic processes, causes intoxication of the body, impairs the functioning of the brain, liver, and provokes the appearance of diabetes and obesity.

It is recommended to minimize or completely abandon the consumption of palm oil, which is a part of fast food products (chips, french fries, fast foods, cheeseburgers), processed cheeses, yoghurts, baby mixes and pastries. As part of this food, it is the strongest carcinogen dangerous to human health. In addition, children and adolescents under 18 years of age, as well as people after 50 years of age, should eat palm-free foods, otherwise there may be problems with phosphorus-calcium metabolism.

In order not to fall into the “trap” of manufacturers, carefully read the label of the purchased product. Refuse to buy products, which according to the production technology should go exclusively butter, but it is replaced by palm or stearin. These include: cheese, ice cream, condensed milk, cream, pastries, cakes, cookies, sweets.

Watch the video: The real problem with Palm Oil. (January 2020).