Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has been setup to promote the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil. Their focus is also on enhancing the image of Palm oil and creating acceptance of Palm oil through various technologies. The points I mentioned above are very much documented in the mission statement of the company. To build the awareness, the company setup a 2nd Food Bloggers Meet in Bangalore at Taj Vivanta – MG Road, Bangalore. The highlight of the event was the presentation given by Bhavna Shah who is the Country Representative – India/Srilanka, highlighting the various facts about Palm Oil and the industry at large. The session was quite useful in educating us about the Palm Oil and trying to clarify many of the myths surrounding it.
History of Palm Oil
Human use of oil palms may date as far back as 5,000 years; in the late 1800s, archaeologists discovered a substance that they concluded was originally palm oil in a tomb at Abydos dating back to 3,000 BCE. It is believed that Arab traders brought the oil palm to Egypt.
Palm oil (also known as dendê oil, from Portuguese) is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of the fruit of the oil palms, primarily the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis and to a lesser extent from the American oil palm Elaeis oleifera and the Maripa Palm Attalea maripa.
Palm oil is naturally reddish in color because of a high beta-carotene content. It is a common cooking ingredient in the tropical belt of Africa, Southeast Asia and parts of Brazil. Its use in the commercial food industry in other parts of the world is widespread because of its lower cost and the high oxidative stability (saturation) of the refined product when used for frying.
It is quite necessary to share some of the points that was presented during the talk. Most of these are quite surprising and hard to comprehend. With data backing each of the points shared, it gives all of us so much murkier facts.
Export of Palm Oil
Malaysia is the world’s largest exporter of palm oil having exported 18 million tonnes of palm oil products in 2011, though Indonesia produces more palm oil. China, Pakistan, the European Union, India and the United States are the primary importers of Malaysian palm oil products.
Import of Palm Oil
India is the highest Importer of Palm Oil in the world which is following by EU-27 and China.
Creating Green/Oxygen Zone
The production of Palm Oil is supposed to be against the Nature’s will and that it causes large scale deforestation. But then when we look at the pictures showing the various Palm Oil plantation in the field, it shows a much bigger green-belt. These can easily be called as the ‘Green Zone’ created by Palm plantation.
Eventually the green-belt will cause the air become more clean and increased production of Oxygen. That way we can may be considering the production leading to creation of Oxygen zones, like in Rain Forests.
The plantation of Palm Tree, does not just increase the green-cover but also helps in further maintaining ecological balance. The reason for that is quite simply coz the plantation will cause more animals to find green-cover. Flora and fauna can survive in these plantations which is not known to many.
Countries like Malaysia export oil and help in their economic growth. But, we came to know about many of the NGOs trying to share wrong information about the Palm Oil which is leading to lot of doubts in the minds of people. There are also many false propaganda being spread online via various articles and videos of YouTube.
Apart from this we came to know about the way some of the other advancements in technology like GMO are stopped from entering our country.
Health Benefits of Palm Oil
We had an eminent dietician and Doctor, who gave a complete presentation of Palm Oil and its benefits. She also spoke about some of the Myths. She shared how some of the technical terms have been wrongly associated with Palm Oil.
Lunch and Socialize
This was a time given for all bloggers to be able to talk to the Country representative of MPOC and the doctor/dietician to clarify doubts regarding palm oil.
Facts of Palm Oil
At the end of the event, we were all given some brochure and books which contains a lot relevant info which I think I should share for people to know.
The benefits of Palm Oil includes – Resistant to oxidation, Nutritionally balanced, Produces loses volatile compounds, Resistant to spoilage, Contains Vitamin E tocotrienols, Stable at high temperature, Retains the flavours of the food, Long shelf life, Less oil absorption in food, Less sticky residue on walls and utensils, Free of trans fat as it never needs hydrogenation, Good and consistent texture in fried products, Non GMO, Balanced fatty acid content, Suitable for blends for use in cold regions.
Application of Kernel Palm Oil – Margarine, Vegetable Ghee (Vanaspati), Shortening, Soap Noodles, Personal Care Products, Palm-based Chocolate Products, Palm-based Non-dairy Ice Cream, Palm-based Non-dairy Creamer and Palm Kernel Cake/Expeller (PKC/E).
Use of Palm Oil Products in Frying – It is highly heat stable, making it resistant to oxidation. It is healthier than frying with polyunsaturated oils. That same stability also improves shelf life and less fat absorption so that product is never soggy. Infact, I recently visit the kitchen of the World Largest Fast Food Chain, KFC and found that Palm Oil. We all know that they use it for frying the chicken and get the consistency.
Abundance of Carotenoids – Red Palm Oil’s colour is due to presence of Carotenoids. These carotenoids help prevent Vitamin A deficiency in children and expectant mothers. These colourful carotenoids are also appealing when used in salads dressing.
Palm Oil has a naturally balanced composition – The American Heart Association’s optimum fat blend ration is 1:1:1 (saturates: monounsaturated: polyunsaturated). This is only achieved by using palm oil as a major product component.
Palm-derived vitamin E tocotrienols aid in stroke prevention – Studies have proven tocotrienols ability to prevent the expansion of white matter lesions in the human brain. It is beneficial in the management of dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Food and Fun
The info captured above are referred from various sites and the material shared by MPOC. I know it’s quite tiring to have read of it. But then as they say when your energy is sapped, its best to go for a coffee/snack/lunch break. Let me share my experience on the food at Taj Vivanta banquet hall.
I was desperately in need of a coffee when I entered as I had to beat the Bangalore traffic to reach. Well, the coffee was good. For sure the caffeine did help refresh my mind.
As part of the lunch they had a decent spread of food.
Started with Veg Soup which was good. I enjoyed the same with some bread pieces.
Main course they had couple of dishes including the Paneer Makhanwala, Aloo Subji, Mix Veg Gravy and Dal Makhani. Among these the Paneer curry was good and I loved eating it along with the roti that they had to offer.
There was also some Biryani rice and curd rice which was the perfect ending to a lovely dinner.
Few desert options were also there which were good.
Fun with Mask
To have more fun during the event, they had setup masks of various superheroes including – Hulk, Iron-man, Batman and others. The idea was to just wear the mask and click picture. End of the day, these pictures were sent and we were asked to guess the person behind the mask. It sure was a fun thing to do.
At the end of day, I also shared some of my thoughts on the event which was recorded. During the video recording, I came to know that 2017 is a special year and MPOC wants to be able to something special for promoting the brand. I did share some of my thoughts.
It was a wonderful event that was both information and education. There are so many more things that I did not know about the Palm Oil and the industry which was shared during the presentation. Interacting with Bhavna Shah also gave more information regarding the issue being faced by producers and blocks created in the market. All the facts, lets us sometime not be blinded by words but rather do a thorough research coz the truth could be something else.
Hopefully the article written above will further clear the doubts in the mind of the people about Palm Oil.
Thanks for Priyanka Patel from Six Sigma for inviting me to the event.
Thanks to Bhavna Shah, Country Representative of MPOC for sharing info regarding MPOC.
Data – 20 Nov’16
Location – Taj Vivanta, MG Road
Pictures taken with fellow Bloggers 🙂