The Malaysian palm oil industry has experienced significant growth since oil palm was first introduced into the country from West Africa in the late 1870s. In 2018, crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel oil (PKO) production achieved 19.52 million tonnes and 2.30 million tonnes, respectively (Kushairi et al., 2019). Palm oil is mostly consumed as food, while nearly 20% are used for non-food applications.
Despite the small size of nonfood applications, this is an important area of application as most palm oil products have been converted into high value-added products. With the successful development of the palm oil refining industry in the 1980s, Malaysian entrepreneurs naturally look for further opportunities in the downstream processing of palm oil. At that time, oleochemicals offered good profitability and had good demand, hence, the industry started blooming with the establishment of the first oleochemical plant in Penang (MOSTA, 2014).
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB),
6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi,
43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.