Do you consume palm oil? Many people would say ‘no’ to this particular question. But, the truth is you might not cook your food in palm oil, but you almost certainly eat or use palm oil, as it is in about half of all packaged products sold in the supermarket. And is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet. The reason that people don’t know about it is ‘lack of awareness’.
So, recently I got the opportunity to attend Palm Oil Gourmet Delights Event organized by Malaysian Palm Oil Council(MPOC) at Ardor2.1, Connaught Place, where we were briefed about the uses and importance of Palm Oil through various video clips, by Bhavna Shah, Country Representative of Malaysian Palm Oil Council (for India and Sri Lanka). And there I came to know how it’s been part of our life. The session was extremely informative.
MPOC is a Council under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia. Its role is to promote Malaysian palm oil in the global market by enhancing the image of palm oil and creating better acceptance of palm oil through awareness of various technological and economic advantages (techno-economic advantages) and environmental sustainability.
The Council has set up a network of ten offices all over the world, mainly in China (Shanghai), India (Mumbai), Pakistan (Lahore), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Middle East (Istanbul and Cairo), Europe (Brussels and Russia), Africa (Durban) and Americas (Washington DC) to support, promote and venture into new areas for the industry.
What is Palm Oil?
Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil. It is derived from the reddish pulp of the fruit of the oil palms, especially the oil palms from Africa. Palm oil, like coconut oil, is a highly saturated vegetable fat. It is a very common ingredient in Southeast Asia, tropical belt of Africa and few parts of Brazil. It is derived from the flesh of the fruit of the oil palm species E. Guineensis. In its virgin form, the oil is bright orange-red due to the high content of carotene. Palm oil is Nature’s Gift to Malaysia, and Malaysia’s to the World.
It is one of the least expensive and most popular oils worldwide, accounting for one-third of global plant oil production
The oil palm tree, which is the source of palm oil, is highly productive as it yields 5–10 times more oil per hectare of land than other oil seed crops, including soybean and canola, making it truly beneficial for the environment.
Benefits of Palm Oil
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. It also contains high amounts of oleic acid and smaller amounts of linoleic acid and stearic acid.
Following are some benefits of using palm oil:
• It prevents vitamin A deficiency
• It may prevent cancer and brain diseases.
• It prevents malaria.
• It supply the body with vitamin E for youthful appearance
• It supply the body with vitamin D for healthy joints and bone density.
• Improves Blood Circulation
• Reduces Blood pressure
• It is known to support pregnancy
• It can be used for weight loss
• It is known to increase the body’s metabolism.
Uses of Palm Oil
Palm oil is used as a cooking oil, and as an affordable ingredient in many food products, such as margarine, confectionery, chocolate, ice cream and bakery products. It is also widely used in non-food products such as soap, candles, and cosmetics. More than half the products on sale in the supermarket are made with palm oil.
After the awareness session was the time for the Food Hunt, which was the best part of this event. We were divided into groups of 5-6 members each & were handed over the clue cards, using which we had to decode the name of the venues, where certain activities were lined up for us.
The first venue decoded was Pandey’s paan. We headed there, ate some scrumptious paan which had cashews fried in Palm oil and got our second clue. The second clue card led us to My Bar Headquarters, where we received a task of making Salad, we tried to do something different with the ingredients we had, and we named our salad ‘Palmalicious‘, considering our main ingredient ‘Palm Oil’.
We received our next clue card, which led us to Punjabi by nature, where we were handed a questionnaire about Palm Oil to fill up.
We received our last clue card, that took us back to Ardor 2.1, where we had our last task. We were blindfolded to taste & identify the dish that was served to us, and had to write the list of ingredients used in making the dish. (the dish was cooked in Palm Oil). It was super fun.
At last, we all had lunch together at Ardor 2.1, where we were served some really mouth watering dishes.
Overall, this event was planned perfectly, and we really learned many things about palm oil, which we didn’t know before. Many thanks to Dr. Bhavna Shah for organising this event and sharing such incredible information with each one of us.
Visit MPOC official website to know more about Palm Oil