In the early years of commercial production, the crude palm oil was processed into refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) palm oil (PO). The light colour of the oil met the consumers’ expectation based on the traditional appearance of the classic cooking oils like soya, sunflower and groundnut oils. The refining process produced palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD) which was then sold as a by-product of low value. With changing consumer demand, the RBDPO was processed further by fractionating into liquid palm olein (RBDPL) and solid fraction palm stearin (RBDPS). As with PFAD, the by-product RBDPS also had very low commercial value. However, scientists have known for a long time that there was value in the carotenoids, which were the parts that gave the golden colour to the crude palm oil. Although most of these carotenoids were destroyed in the course of refining, some remained as tocopherols and tocotrienols in the RBD, as well as in the PFAD where it was discovered that the concentration was even higher. The Palm Oil Research Institute (later known as the Malaysian Palm Oil Board or MPOB) has followed up with many scientific studies to recover these constituents of PO in order to get their full value. These studies have produced satisfactory results which were carried further to a stage where the products such as palm phyto-ingredients could be developed for commercialization by companies. Carotech Berhad is one such company.
Keywords: MPOB PUBLICATIONS, PALM FATTY ACID DISTILLATE (PFAD), PALM OIL, BLEACHED, CAROTECH BERHAD, REFINED, DEODORIZED (RBD)