Red Palm Fruit Oil comes from oil palms that are traditionally grown in tropical regions of West Africa and are now cultivated on a large-scale in Southeast Asia. Malaysia is one of the world leaders in exports of palm oil. It is a traditional oil used for more than 5000 years in African countries. Crude palm oil is a rich source of natural carotenes (500-700 ppm) (Yap et al., 1991) and vitamin E (600-1000 ppm) (Goh et al., 1985). A patented, non-chemical and environmental-friendly process has been developed that retains more than 80% of the carotenes and vitamin E as tocopherols and tocotrienols, in the final products. Besides natural carotenes and vitamin E, Red Palm Fruit Oil contains other valuable minor components such as phytosterols, squalene and co-enzyme Q10. The entire range of refined red palm fruit oil products including red palm olein, stearin, superolein is marketed as a good source of natural carotenes and vitamin E. These products meet all international specifications of refined oil except for colour due to the presence of natural carotenes. A sensory evaluation showed that Red Palm Fruit Oil products are comparable to refined bleached and deodorised (RBD) palm oil products (Choo et al., 1993).
Keywords: MPOB PUBLICATIONS, MARKET DEVELOPMENT, PALM OIL AND OIL PALM INDUSTRY-Africa, PRODUCTION FORECASTS, STATISTICS