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Saturday, December 10, 2005

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Saturday Feature
 
Food for life
12/10/2005
 

          A staple of sustenance and nutrition for over 5,000 years, palm oil today is the single largest contributor towards meeting the world's growing demand for edible oils and fats.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recognised the wholesomeness of palm oil and its suitability for widespread human consumption. Indeed, consumers across the globe use it daily in the form of cooking oil, margarines and spreads, as a medium for frying, and as an ingredient in baked and processed foods.
Like all edible oils, palm oil is an energy food and a carrier of fat soluble vitamins.
A Nutritionally Balanced Vegetable Oil: Palm oil contains an equal proportion of unsaturated and saturated ratty acids, which are both required by the human body. Palm oil, like olive oil, is particularly high in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fatty acids. Its balanced composition makes palm oil relatively more stable at high temperatures required in cooking and deep trying,
A Healthy Oil: Red palm oil (RP0) is among nature's richest sources of carotenoids and vitamin E Carotenoids, a powerful anti-oxidant, enhances body resistance while lowering the risk of cancers, heart diseases and cataracts. RPO contains 15 and 30 times more carotenoids than carrots and tomatoes, respectively. Palm oil also contains vitamin E tocotrienols and tocopherols (See Table 1). Vitarnin E tocotrienols have been proven to effectively combat the ravages of free radicals and premature ageing.
As a major palm oil producer, Malaysia aspires to meet the requirements of consumers and food manufacturers for versatile and affordable edible oil. Continuous research and development has allowed one hectare of oil palms to produce an average of 4-5 tonnes of oil per annum with best fields giving as high as 7-8 tonnes. In comparison, other oil bearing crops produce only a quarter of that. Progressive efforts toward production efficiency coupled with natural lifespan of oil palm trees of 25 years ensure a sustainable and consistent supply of this essential food for mankind. In 2004, Malaysia produced 14.0 million tonnes of palm oil which accounts for about 47 per cent of global production. Almost 90 per cent of Malaysian palm oil is exported (See Pie Chart I).

Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council

 

 
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