Gourmet Delight: All about Palm Oil

I believe that good food makes good mood.Its important that not only taste but health quotient of a meal should also be kept in mind while preparing it. It is suggested that use of different cooking oil is important for a balanced diet. Palm oil is one such cooking medium which has many health benefits and moreover its a versatile oil with multiple use.

So recently I was part of a blogger’s meet “GOURMET DELIGHT” organized by Malaysian Palm Oil Council which was a day full of fun activities, interactive sessions and knowing more about palm oil.

What is Palm Oil-

Palm oil, an edible vegetable oil rich in saturated fats and free of trans fats, is derived from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of the fruit of the oil palms. Palm mesocarp oil which is 49% saturated, is generally reddish in colour because of high beta-carotene content. Crude red palm oil that has been refined, bleached and deodorized, a common commodity called RBD palm oil, does not contain carotenoids. It is semisolid at room temperature.

Uses of Palm Oil –

The use of Palm oil in the commercial food industry is widespread because of its lower cost and the high oxidative stability of the refined product when used for frying. Palm Oil is used in around 50% of products consumers purchase and use on a daily basis. Palm Oil and its derivatives otherwise known as fractions of the oil are used in the manufacture of prepackaged food, cosmetics, cleaning products,hair care, soaps and personal care items. Palm Wax is used in the manufacture of candles. It is also used to manufacture bio fuel and has become what is called the green fuel option for Motor Vehicles, shipping and Aircraft fuel. Palm is also used as feed for livestock named as palm kernel cake which is a by-product of palm kernel oil.

Gourmet Delight –

As it sounds this event was more about food which had palm oil as one of the ingredient.As soon as I reached the Venue which was in Central Delhi in a restaurant named Ardor2. 1 we had a small meet and greet session with our fellow bloggers and the organizers.

After that Dr. Bhavna Shah country head of INDIA and Sri Lanka MPOC briefly explained all the benefits, different usage of Palm oil and how its sourced in Malaysia.It was followed by a small presentation about palm oil.

Right after that exciting activities started when we all were divided in group of 6 and we got clue card with some hints about our next spot where we had to perform few activities.

After few minutes of discussion we figured out first place which was PANDEY PAAN.When we reached there we relished butter scotch pan which had cashew filling fried in palm oil.

There we got our second clue card too.

So this place was MY BAR HEADQUARTERS and this stop was my favorite where we performed fun salad making activity using 5 ingredients and palm oil.

We tried to create a well balanced salad using lettuce, carrot,curd, beetroot, capsicum.We were judged by chef of the restaurant and Dr. Bhawna Shah.

There we got our last clue card with hints for our next stop.

This one was quite easy so as soon as we figured out,we reached restaurant PUNJABI BY NATURE for our next activity which was solving a questionnaire based on palm oil.

After finishing this we returned beack to Ardor2. 1

At Ardor we had one more exciting activity planned for us which was blindfolded food tasting.We had to taste and guess the ingredients.The food we had was kadhai Panneer which was delicious and I was amazed to know that it was cooked in palm oil. I realized that food taste is going to remain same if it is cooked in palm oil. We submitted our sheet after writing ingredients and then we enjoyed great food which was all prepared in palm oil.

After that results were announced and we ended this fun event by clicking fun pictures.I got to know some amazing facts about palm oil which I want to mention here.

Positive Impact of Palm Oil on world Economy –

Palm oil is helping in growing world economy too by creating 2.8 million jobs in its importing countries and this way helping in GDP growth.

Check out this reference video

Globally Palm is used in various products.Palm oil and palm kernel oil based ingredients are found in approximately 50% of products on supermarket shelves, including food and non food items. Palm oil in many countries is used as a simple frying oil, but many other markets make use of both palm and palm kernel oil:

  • Consumer retail food and snack manufacturers
  • Personal care and cosmetics (mainly palm kernel oil)
  • Biofuel and energy
  • Animal feed
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Industrial
  • Foodservice/service industry
    Palm kernel and palm oil uses are widely varied because they can be processed and blended to produce a vast range of products with different characteristics. The below ingredient names are found on the packaging of 50% of the products stocked on most supermarket shelves, being either palm oil or palm kernel oil based.

Although its used widely, still Palm oil has not so good first impression among most of us. Palm oil has a high saturated fat content, which can be harmful to cardiovascular health. However, one study found that, when consumed as part of a balanced diet, “Palm oil does not have incremental risk for cardiovascular disease.”

There are some misconceptions about palm oil which I thought to discuss in this blog.

1: Food Manufacturers Like Palm Oil Because It’s Very Cheap:

Palm oil is comparatively cheap than the other oil seeds but it doesn’t mean compromising on quality of nutritional value.

2: Palm Oil Drives Wildlife Toward Extinction:

The palm oil industry is continuously accused of driving wildlife species to the brink of extinction and the Orangutans has always been in the centre of attention.But truth is little different. Malaysia which is leading in palm oil production and export is Green And Growing. This country heavily relies on its natural resources for economic development and has honoured its pledge made at the Rio Earth Summit 1992 to uphold 50% of its land under forest cover. Recent Malaysian forest hectarage as published in the Global Forest
Resources Assessment (FRA) 2015 report (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation)
reported that Malaysia currently maintains 22,195,100 ha or 67.6% of its total land area as forest.
This is significantly higher than a country like Australia with only 16.2% of its land mass under forest.Malaysia Has a Strong Policy Aimed at Protecting Its National Biodiversity.

3. Palm Oil Is An Unhealthy Oil For Us To Eat.
Palm oil is recognised as a wholesome and nutritious edible oil suitable for human consumption by
CODEX Alimentarious. Palm oil has a balanced fatty acid composition, between its saturated and
unsaturated fatty acids, and high content of vitamin E tocotrienols and tocopherols. Crude and red palm
oil are also rich sources of pro-vitamin A carotenoids. The main saturated fatty acid in palm oil is palmitic acid, which is the same form of saturated fatty acid that is most abundant in our body and in human
breast milk.

Benefits of Palm Oil-

Helps in improving vision

Beta-carotene is very much important for improving vision. Many antioxidants can be found in palm oil, which provide powerful defensive mechanisms of the body. They are the beneficial by-products of cellular metabolism and can help by protecting the body against free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for a lot of cellular breakdown and mutation, including the damage of vision. Using palm oil as a replacement for other types of oil can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.

Helps in preventing cardiovascular issues

Palm oil in spite of having a high content of HDL and LDL cholesterol can still create a healthier balance in our body. High levels of LDL cholesterol can increase the chances of atherosclerosis, which can cause strokes and heart attacks. By maintaining a healthy balance of cholesterol (both of which is needed in our body), one can ensure a healthier cardiovascular system.

Helps in reducing the risk of cancer

Tocopherols, a form of vitamin E, are natural antioxidants that can help to prevent cancer by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells, so high levels of tocopherol as is present in palm oil are necessary.

Helps in providing naturally soft skin

Palm oil makes the skin naturally soft and glossy without it getting a greasy appearance. This is the reason the oil is a key ingredient in many soap bars and skin creams. It also provides relief to ragged cuticles and itchy skin.

Helps to improve hair growth

Palm kernel oil provides thorough conditioning of hair, thickens hair and reduces hair fall by making it stronger. Used as a hot oil treatment, it provides a soothing effect along with the desired nourishment.

Rich In Vitamin K

Vitamin K is one of the most important fat-soluble vitamins that the body requires. It boosts bone health and also acts as a blood coagulant. Palm kernel oil contains high amounts of the vitamin K and hence is recommended for daily use.

Richly loaded with antioxidants

With a sufficient amount of Vitamin E, rarely found tocotrienols and being loaded with anti-oxidants, palm oil provides amazing anti-aging benefits. It prevents the occurrence of wrinkles and fine lines. It is capable of providing protection against harmful UV rays and other toxins and hence it is healthy for the skin.

Contains unsaturated fats

The palm kernel oil is a source of healthy unsaturated fats and medium chain fatty acids. This is perfect for use as a cooking medium. Moreover, these qualities make it ideal for healthier skin, bones and joints.

Contains zero Trans-Fat

Palm oil does not contain any Trans-fat, and is hence considered as ideal cooking oil for those who are looking to shed extra pounds.

Rich in nutrients

In addition to having important fat-soluble vitamins, palm kernel oil also has high nutritional value. It has numerous nutrients that are essential for maintaining a good health. The presence of palmitic acid, considered as a 16-carbon saturated fatty acid, makes it distinctive from other cooking oils.

Helps during pregnancy

The deficiency of vitamin could be harmful for a pregnant woman as well as her unborn child. Palm oil contains Vitamin D, A and E which is beneficial for the health. A pregnant woman should have Palm oil in her diet to prevent the vitamin deficiencies.

Helps in providing with energy

Palm oil has beta carotene in it which carotene assists in promoting the level of energy and enhances the balance of hormones in the body.

The day was so amazing but most importantly I got to know that PALM OIL is a multipurpose oil and not only in food but it is incorporated in various things we use in daily life.

I got to know that this event got feature in various leading newspapers and media like DAINIK JAGRAN, DAILY NEWS.

Thats all for this blogpost. Thanks for reading.Lovee…Shilpi 💋

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