Cook off using Palm Oil by MasterChef Jochen Kern


Oil Palm (Elaeis Guineensis) tree is native to West and Southwest Africa and its history date back to more than 5,000 years.  This tree was brought to Malaysia as an ornamental in 1870.  Since 1960, its area has increased rapidly and become one of the most important crop in the country.  Malaysia is the second largest producer of Palm.  Together with Indonesia, the contribute to nearly 80% of the World Palm Oil Supply.

Palm Fruit is God’s gift to mankind as every part of the fruit is useful.  The various components of the fruit include – Mesocarp, Shell and Palm Kernel.  The fruit can be used to extract Palm Oil, Palm Olein, Palm Stearin and Palm Kernel Oil.

Palm and Palm Kernel Oils

Palm oil is from the mesocarp of the oil palm fruit.  It has a balanced fatty acid composition with about equal saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.  It is one of the unique vegetable oils in having mainly unsaturated fatty acids at the 2 positions of its triglycerides.  The appreciable monosaturated and desaturated, allow it to be easily fractionated into two main products, olein and stearin.  A wide range of fractions with different properties suit the different requirements of the food industry.

Palm Olein is the liquid fraction from fractionating Palm Oil.  Palm Oil is cooled, and the crystals formed filtered out, in that the liquid form is Palm Olein and the solid fraction Palm Stearin.  Palm Olein is suitable as cooking oil, for frying (both deep and shallow) because of its high stability.  Olein is rich in tocotrienols, which are preferentially partitioned to its from stearin in fractionating palm oil.

Palm Stearin is the solid fraction from the fractionation of palm oil.  It can be used for obtaining mid fractions and blended with other vegetable oils to obtain functional products, such as margarin fats, shortenings and Vanaspati.  It is useful natural hardstock for making trans-free fats.  It is used for making soap and other oleochemical products, as well as for animal feed.

Palm Mid Fraction is the fraction of Palm Oil high in POP triglycerides and is used in confectionery fats.

Palm Kernel Oil is from the Kernel of the Oil Palm Fruit.  Its composition and properties different greatly from Palm Oil.  It is produced by mechanical expression from the kernel.  The oil has a sharp melting point which makes it suitable for confectionery.

Palm Kernel Olein is the liquid fraction of Palm Kernel Oil from fractionation.  It is very useful for margarine fats when combined with Palm Stearin.

Palm Kernel Stearin is the premium product rom fractionating Palm Kernel Oil.  The solid melting profile enables its use in confectionery fats.

Malaysian Palm Oil Educational Program

I have known multiple health benefits by reading books and various articles.  But then I have not heard from any of the Masterchef speak about its usage in food preparation.  Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) setup Masterclass showcasing usage of Palm Oil with Masterchef Jochen Kern – Director of Berjaya School of Culinary Arts Berjaya University College of Hospitality

The cook-off event was part of a larger Education Program that did span across a week between 13-17 November 2017.  Program included other activities like – Field Trips across Oil Palm Plantations, Attending PIPOC 2017 Conference, Meeting MPOC & MPOB Teams and Visit to Rainforest Development Centre & Oran Hutan Rehab centres at Sandakan.  They invited International Journalists from 7 different countries – India (2), China (1), Netherlands (1), Pakistan (3), Russia (3), Bangladesh (1), and Egypt (1).

This blog will contain details regarding the cook-off event and some of the inputs shared by Masterchef Jochen Kern.

Masterclass with MasterChef Jochen Kern

Chef Jochen started by showing a picture of Palm Fruit and explained to us every part of the fruit can be utilized.  He then shared some info regarding Palm Oil Plant.

  • On average 3.9 tonnes of Crude Palm Oil and 0.5 tonnes of crude palm kernel oil can be extracted from extracted hectare.
  • Palm comes from the flesh of the fruit, palm kernel oil comes from the kernel or seed.  Palm Oil is mainly used for Edible purposes whereas Palm Kernel Oil is a non-food.  It is used in products and specialized application in confectionary fats or cocoa utter substitute and cocoa butter equivalent.
  • Each piece of Palm Fruit contains around 20% oil.

Cook-off Activity

We were all part of a live Masterclass where Chef made two dishes including – Salad based on Mushroom & Arabic dish Holishke.  During the event, Chef told the advantages of using Palm Oil over other oils.

  • Does not interference with Food taste.
  • Pricing is quite cheaper compared to Olive Oil.
  • Multiple varieties – Virgin and extra Virgin oil.
  • Smoking point is very high and is easy to Procure.
  • Used in cosmetics along with multiple food products.
  • Used in instant noodles and many of Nestlé, Kellogg’s products.

The points mentioned above came from a Chef who has been in the industry for nearly 35 years in the industry.

Health Benefits

  • Palm oil is an excellent source of tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E with strong antioxidant properties that may support brain health.
  • Palm oil has been credited with providing protection against heart disease.
  • Can help improve vitamin A status in people who are deficient or at risk of deficiency.

Facts about Palm Oil

  • Like coconut oil, palm oil is semi-solid at room temperature. However, its melting point is 95°F (35°C), which is considerably higher than 76°F (24°C) for coconut oil. This is due to the different fatty acid compositions of the two oils.
  • Palm oil is one of the least expensive and most popular oils worldwide, accounts for one-third of global plant oil production.
  • Palm oil is different from palm kernel oil, which originate from same plant.  Palm Kernel Oil is extracted from the seed of the fruit and has different health benefits.
  • Palm Oil is used for cooking and is also added to many ready-to-eat foods in your grocery store.
  • It is often used for sautéing or frying because it has a high smoke point of 450°F (232°C) and remains stable under high heat.
  • Palm Oil can be used to produce biodiesel fuel, which serves as an alternative energy source
  • All of palm oil’s calories come from fat. Its fatty acid breakdown is 50% saturated fatty acids, 40% monounsaturated fatty acids and 10% polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • Red palm oil’s reddish-orange pigment stems from antioxidants known as carotenoids, including beta-carotene, which your body can convert into vitamin A.

Overall Experience

This was one of great cook-off event because the Chef kept us all entertained during the event by sharing his past stories.  Chef made cooking looks very easy and inspired me to get into kitchen for cooking something special.  The facts shared by Chef can be immediately accepted as he has been in the business for nearly 35 years and has seen it all.  The dishes prepared by him was simply awesome and the taste were enhanced due to presence of Palm Oil.

I applaud the effort by the MPOC to setup a cook-off event to be part of the Education Program. Special Bhavana Shah (MPOC Country Representative, India & Srilanka) for selecting me to be part of this International Exposure.  Thanks to Fizan (MPOC) Suzanna Mohamed (MPOC) for planning the entire event and making the entire Program a grand success.  Special thanks to MPOC CEO, Dr.Kalyan Sundaram for leading the MPOC very well.  This initiative will eventually help in building a good image for Malaysian Palm Oil Internationally.

This is the fourth blog among many others related to MPOC Educational Program.  Refer to the links below to read about other activities.


Megadiverse Countries

Wildlife in Malaysia


MPOC – Malaysian Palm Oil Council

Kinabatangan River

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Rainforest Discovery Centre

Malaysian Palm Oil – Educational Program

Malaysian Palm Oil – The Road Ahead

Field Trip to Malaysian Palm Oil Plantations

Cook off using Palm Oil by MasterChef Jochen Kern

Wildlife and Nature in Mega-Diverse Malaysia