Palm Oil Developments No.55 (Dec 2011) p20-24

Market Development of Red Palm Fruit Oil and its Contribution in Africa and Southeast Asia


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).

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