Palm oil has many benefits – environmental benefits, for its amazing yield, low land-use and productivity; social benefits, for employing small farmers, empowering rural communities, building infrastructure and reducing poverty across the developing world; and, of course, health benefits – for its content of Vitamins A and E, as well as a balanced composition of saturated and unsaturated fats.
Another primary health benefit of palm oil is that it is 100% free of trans fats – one of the most dangerous substances in food, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On June 16, it announced its intention to ban the use of partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils – the source of industrial trans fats – in processed foods within three years.
Soft oils are partially hydrogenated in order to harden them to be used in food preparations. Palm oil’s unique balanced composition means it is naturally semi-solid and does not require hydrogenation.
By Dr Yusof Basiron, CEO of MPOC