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No.69 (December 2018) p28-33
Production of Palm-based Reference Materials for Analytical Testing and Quality Assurance – MPOB’s Experience
Elina Hishamuddin* and Azmil Haizam Ahmad Tarmizi*

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Introduction


Production of Palm-based Reference Materials for Analytical Testing and Quality Assurance – MPOB’s Experience

Malaysia is the second largest producer and exporter of palm oil (PO) and palm kernel oil (PKO) in the world. As one of the major players in PO and PKO trade, it is imperative for Malaysia to ensure that the quality of both oils exported meet the standard requirements established by national authorities and trade specifications defined in international standards. This necessitates the delivery of reliable and reproducible analytical measurements by competent laboratories using validated test methods. According to ISO/IEC 17025 (2017), one of the methods for evaluating the performance of testing laboratories is through the use of reference materials. However, the availability of affordable and method-specific reference materials for the analyses of palm products remains limited despite the increasing demand for the utilisation of palm-based reference materials. Hence, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) initiated a programme in the year 2000 to develop palm-based reference materials to cater to the needs of laboratories involved in quality testing of palm-based products. This article describes MPOB’s experience in the production and characterisation of palm-based reference materials for quality assurance in PO and PKO analyses within the last decade and provides updates on current research in the development of palm-based reference materials at MPOB.



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No.69 (December 2018) p25-27
Chemical and Physical Analyses of Goat Feed Pellets with Oil Palm By-products Inclusion
Nur Atikah Ibrahim*; Wan Nooraida Wan Mohamad*; Abidah Md Noh* and Miskandar Mat Sahri*

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Introduction


Chemical and Physical Analyses of Goat Feed Pellets with Oil Palm By-products Inclusion

The Malaysian oil palm industry generates huge amounts of by-products annually. Most of these by-products have great potential to be utilised as components in compound feeds. However, some of these by-products need further processing before they can be used effectively in livestock rations (Mohamed et al., 2012).



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No.69 (December 2018) p16-19
Tocotrienols: Emerging Evidence of Health Benefits from Clinical Trials
Puvaneswari Meganathan* and Fu Ju Yen*

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Introduction


Tocotrienols: Emerging Evidence of Health Benefits from Clinical Trials

Vitamin E was discovered in the 1920s and has exhibited various health protective effects (Aggarwal et al., 2010; Fu et al., 2014). It consists of tocopherols (TP) and tocotrienols (T3) with tocotrienols being different from their counterpart due to the presence of an unsaturated side chain. Compared to other natural sources such as soyabean, corn and rice bran, palm oil has a higher ratio of tocotrienols to tocopherols (Kannappan et al., 2012). For many years, vitamin E has been referred to synonymously as alpha tocopherol. However, in the last three decades, scientific evidence has shown that tocotrienols are much more potent as antioxidants than alpha tocopherol. In addition, tocotrienols have shown such therapeutic effects as neuroprotective, cardioprotective and anti-cancer, and as a cholesterol lowering agent as shown in Figure 1 (Fu et al., 2014). From pre-clinical studies to clinical trials, many mechanisms have been elucidated in the quest of an explanation for tocotrienols’ health-promoting qualities. This article will discuss the important findings from clinical trials that can serve as a bridge to connect scientists and clinicians.



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No.69 (December 2018) p15, 20-24
Accredited Analytical Testing Services Laboratory as a Reference Laboratory for the Oil Palm Industry
Hajar Musa*; Razmah Ghazali* and Mohd Azmil Mohd Noor*

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Introduction


Accredited Analytical Testing Services Laboratory as a Reference Laboratory for the Oil Palm Industry

The Malaysian palm oil industry has experienced significant growth since the first introduction of oil palm from West Africa in the late 1870s. In 2016, crude palm oil (CPO) production was recorded at 17.32 million tonnes (MPOB, 2016). Malaysia is currently one of the leading producers and exporters of palm oil (PO) and palm oil products (POP) worldwide. This accounts for 11% of the oils and fats production, and 27% of the exports of oils and fats (Malaysian Palm Oil Council, 2017).



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No.69 (December 2018) p10-14
Combination of Pre-treatments on EFB Fibre for Sugar Production
Fatiha Ismail*; Astimar Abdul Aziz*; Nur Eliyanti Ali Othman*; Fazliana Abdul Hamid*; Zawawi Ibrahim*; Kamarudin Hassan* and Anis Mokhtar*

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Introduction


Combination of Pre-treatments on EFB Fibre for Sugar Production

Oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) contain about 70%-80% holocellulose, which comprises about 40%-45% and 30%-35% of cellulose and hemicellulose, respectively, as well as 18%-22% lignin (Basiron and Husin, 1996). These lignocellulosics can be utilised for the production of fibrereinforced biocomposites (Mariko et al., 2016) and fine chemicals such as glucose and xylose (Siew et al., 2013). Due to their high content of cellulose and hemicellulose, EFB can be exploited for the extraction of high value-added lignocellulosic fine chemicals. One of the strategies is to convert the cellulose and hemicellulose into fermentable sugars such as glucose and xylose (Astimar et al., 2000a, b).



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No.69 (December 2018) p5-9
Effects of Activation Methods on Spent Bleaching Earth for Palm Oil Mill Effluent Treatment
Rusnani Abd Majid*; Che Rahmat Che Mat* and Zulkifli Hashim*

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Introduction


Effects of Activation Methods on Spent Bleaching Earth for Palm Oil Mill Effluent Treatment

Physical refining of crude palm oil includes three major stages: degumming, bleaching and deodourisation. Bleaching earth is used for the removal of undesirable components such as phospholipids, colorants and traces of heavy metals contained in crude oil (Sabah et al., 2007). Regeneration of spent bleaching earth can be achieved by heat treatment (Mahramanlioglu et al., 2010), with solvent extraction (Al-Zahrani and Alhamed, 2000), or by a combination of these methods (Wambu et al., 2009). During these treatments, the chemical composition, structure and textural properties of the clay would be altered. Kheoh (1987) studied the reactivation of spent bleaching clay, which involved washing the bleaching clay with an organic solvent to remove oil, fats, coloured compounds and organic impurities, with subsequent solvent removal.



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No.69 (December 2018) p1-4
Impact of US-China Bilateral Trade Tension on Malaysian Palm Oil
Yoong Jun Hao*; Nik Aznizan Nik Ibrahim*; Nazlin Ismail* and Insyirah Mohamad Shah*

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Introduction


Impact of US-China Bilateral Trade Tension on Malaysian Palm Oil

China is one of the top three destinations besides Canada and Mexico for exports of agricultural and related products from the United States of America (US). In 2017, China imported USD 12.3 billion worth of soyabean from US. Purchases of US soyabean by China typically peak in October and November. Over the last five years, China takes in roughly 77% of her annual US soyabean purchases on average by 30 November.



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No.68 (June 2018) p33-37
Tocotrienols and Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
Sitti Rahma Abd Hafid* and Nabiha Iran*

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Introduction


Tocotrienols and Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Tocotrienols are superior antioxidants that can combat free radicals in the human body, and have shown many biological functions such as having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, maintaining fertility and regulating the immune system, associated with lowering tumour formation, having enhanced anti-cancer properties, as well as controlling tumour growth in certain types of cancer (Yam et al., 2009; Abd Hafid et al., 2010; Inoue & Zhang, 2011; Wong et al., 2012; Abdul Hafid et al., 2013). Some studies have shown that tocotrienols induce cell death in various cancers, such as breast, prostate, cervix and pancreas. Delta-tocotrienols (δ-T3) are believed to be more effective than other forms of tocotrienols in causing apoptosis or cell death in both oestrogen-nonresponsive and oestrogenresponsive breast cancer cells (Ahn et al., 2007; Inoue and Zhang, 2011; Wong et al., 2012). Since, tocotrienols as antioxidants have the ability in lowering oxidative stress, neutralise free radicals which functions as a chainbreaking antioxidant that prevents propagation of free radical reactions in all cell membranes (Devasagayam et al., 2004); it may be suggested as an alternative compound in treating and managing leukaemia diseases. There are only few reports on the effects of tocotrienols in leukaemic cells (Ahn et al., 2007; Al-Tonbary et al., 2008; Inoue and Zhang, 2011; Wong et al., 2012).



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No.68 (June 2018) p26-32
Importance of Genotoxicity Studies on Methyl Ester Sulfonates for Regulatory Compliance
Nurul Aishah Muhammad*; Yusrabbil Amiyati Yusof* and Zafarizal Aldrin Azizul Hasan*

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Introduction


Importance of Genotoxicity Studies on Methyl Ester Sulfonates for Regulatory Compliance

Oleochemicals are derived from natural plants such as palm oil and other vegetable oils. There are five basic oleochemicals, namely fatty acids, fatty alcohols, fatty methyl esters, fatty amines and glycerol (Ong et al., 1989). Palm-based oleochemicals have a diverse range of applications, including as surfactants, personal care products, soaps, detergents and food additives. Surfactants are the largest market segment, alongside personal care and home care products (Grandview Research, 2014). One of the main surfactants is methyl ester sulphonates (MES).



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No.68 (June 2018) p22-25
Characteristics of Compressed Microcrystalline Cellulose from Empty Fruit Bunch Fibre
Nur Eliyanti Ali Othman*; Astimar Abdul Aziz*; Wan Hasamudin Wan Hassan*; Nor Faizah Jalani*; Fazliana Abdul Hamid*; Fatiha Ismail*; Kamarudin Hassan* and Anis Mokhtar*

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Introduction


Characteristics of Compressed Microcrystalline Cellulose from Empty Fruit Bunch Fibre

Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) powder was prepared by acid treatment of the cellulose extracted from oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) fibre (Ramli et al., 2015; Rosnah et al., 2009). Traditionally MCC was obtained from wood, cotton (Suzuki and Nakagami, 1999), and cotton linters (Nada et al., 2009). There are a few reports of MCC derived from agriculture biomass such as rice straw and bagasse (Ilindra and Dhake, 2008), sawdust (Oyeniyi and Itiola, 2012), kenaf core wood (Chi et al., 2013), Lageriana siceraria (water gourd) (Achor et al., 2014), soyabean hulls (Merci et al., 2015), oil palm fronds (Hussin, et al., 2016) and oil palm trunks (Abd Hamid et al., 2014).



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