MPOC – Food Hunt 2016

Palm Oil is one of the edible Vegetable Oils that is extracted from the fruit of Oil Palms.  Palm oil contains many positive nutrients. It contains linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid which the body cannot manufacture. It is also rich in antioxidants, actually 15 times richer in beta-carotene than carrot. Beta-carotenes are a very important form of vitamin A that help protect our body against many diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart attacks, cataracts, arthritis and cancers, by acting as anti-oxidants.
Palm oil is suitable for vegan, vegetarian, and non-dairy diets. It’s best to look for unmodified, organic red palm oil, which can be found at your local natural foods store.
 

The fact that palm oil is solid at room temperature, has a neutral taste, and can be extracted without the use of solvents, has made it a very useful ingredient in organic food processing. The only other organic fats which are solid at room temperature are butter and coconut oil, both of which are more highly saturated.

Background
Malaysia is the biggest producer and exporter of the Palm Oil in this world.  They have been doing the same over a 100 years.  But there are many myths around the Palm Oil which works sometimes against the sale of Palm Oil.  The biggest myth is that the production of Palm Oil will lead to wide-spared deforestation.  This is a false claim made by countries who rely on importing palm oil due to the lack of their own production.  This has eventually triggered the Malaysian government to create a ‘Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC)’ which actually promotes the market expansion of Malaysian Palm oil and its products. 

The team of MPOC also operates in India as MPOC India.  They conduct many events across the country to promote the brand. 
Event
MPOC setup an event in Bangalore to promote the Palm Oil usage across the country.  The event was being led by Bhavna Shah from MPOC-India.  There were 15-20 bloggers as well who were invited for the event.  The idea was to promote the Palm Oil in a fun way.  It was called the ‘Food Hunt’.    Some of the highlights of the event included.
  • Blind-Folded Food Tasting Session
  • Use of clues to find out restaurants in a given locality.
  • Preparing Salad by using limited set of ingredients.
  • Quiz with questions related to Palm Oil.
  • Dart Game with the Bloggers.
  • Lunch at Mainland China, Church Street – Bangalore.

It was a fun event where each of us enjoyed and had fun on a Sunday afternoon.  I will share more details on the individual events.

Blind Fold Food Tasting Session @ Mainland China
We bloggers were blind-folded and were fed a Vegetarian dish.  The idea was to take 2-3 bites of the dish and then list out all the ingredients in that item.  It was a good fun trying to taste something when you can’t see anything.  These are few things that we see in movies, but then it sure does test our senses. 

And then when it came to writing about the ingredients, there was quite a bit of confusion and hesitation.  But then we start to realize how many ingredients are actually part of a dish.

Salad Preparation @ Oh! Calcutta
This was our second pit-stop where there were at least 5-7 veggies, oils and juice extracts.  The idea was to use 7 ingredients to make a salad.

Though we have all have individual tastes, we end up trying to try variations.  It was good fun coming up with the decision with list of items to be added.

And then presenting to the judges.

Paan Tasting @ Empire
The next stop was at Empire to be able to taste the Paan.  Well, I can’t share much insight as I was just running around.  The entire activity there got out in a flash.

Quiz on Palm Oil @ Russh
The next stop was at the popular pub @Church Street.  We all went inside and started to look into 10 questions.  We were sure of some of the answers and others we had to dig for getting answers.  But still it was good informative and fun session.

Dart Game @ Mainland China
Final place we all arrived at was the Mainland China where we had the fun dart game.  Though each of us has not played much, we still managed have the darts hit some of the targets to gain points.  It was complete fun time doing this task as each of us were cheering for each other.

Lunch @ Mainland China
After back to back events which required some calories to be burnt, we were rewarded with a wonderful buffet lunch @ Mainland China. 

We all tasted some of the wonderful soups, starters, stir fried vegetables, Jasmine rice and many others.  The desert was also equally good.

Closing Remarks
The final remark was from Bhavna Shah who did share more data regarding MPOC and the thanked all us for making it to the event.  But there are a few highlights about Palm Oil itself that needed to be remembered.
  • Palm Oil is endowed health benefits, including balanced fatty acid composition and presence of Tocopherol and Tocotrienois, make palm oil superior to other edible oils used for dietary purposes.
  • Palm Oil is a highly versatile oil and can be substituted for hard animal fats (butter and lard); for say, olive or canola liquid vegetable oils; and for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, which is staple of baking, fast-food, and other industries. 
  • Palm oil has had a long history of food use of over 5000 years.  Like all other vegetable oils, palm oil is cholesterol-free. 
  • Palm oil without hydrogenation is an excellent frying oil.  Unlike unsaturated oils such as soya bean oil, corn oil and sunflower seed oil, it has lower tendency to oxidise and is resistant to the formation of polar component and cyclic polymers.
  • Palm oil has bene demonstrated to be a necessary component in current dietary recommendations to achieve a balanced distribution between saturated, monounsaturates and polyunsaturates.  When humans consume diets having such fatty acids distributions, there is a tendency to improve the overall cholesterol lipoprotein ratio.

The oil palm industry has been the backbone of Malaysia’s social and economic developments.  Around 90% of production in the country is exported.  MPOC continues to be one of the agencies undertaking R&D, promotion and marketing services.  Their mission statement is mentioned below.
To promote the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products 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.
Overall Experience
It was a great morning and afternoon spent on a Sunday getting educated about the Palm Oil and its benefits from MPOC.  The team helped us understand more on the brand by mixing them along with many fun games.  Idea of dividing 15-20 bloggers into 4 groups and letting each of us compete against each other was fun.  Finally, there were no 1 winner but all were winners. 
Big thanks for Priyanka Patel from Six Sigma Events for associating with Bhavna Shah from MPOC and we bloggers from Bangalore.
I am hoping this article will help people become more aware of Palm Oil and its benefits. 
Social Media Handles
MPOC
Twitter – @thinkpalmoil
Facebook – http://bit.ly/MPOCIndiaFB
Instagram: instagram.com/thinkpalmoil

References

Bloggers/Foodies/Reviewers @Event
Naveen, Noor, Navneet, Chaitra, Praveen, Ashmita, Dushyant, Kanika, Sakhi, Mahima, Poojitha.

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Categories: Lifestyle

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