How much do you know about palm oil’s health and nutritional benefits?

Palm oil is in half the products we buy and use in our daily lives. Globally, the most significant use of palm oil is in food products, followed by industrial applications for cosmetics, detergents and cleaning products and energy source.

Did you also know that palm oil is one of nature’s richest sources of tocotrienols, a form of Vitamin E with powerful antioxidant and strong anti-inflammation that reduces bad cholesterol, improves liver health, reduces the risk of dementia, and protects and beautifies skin?

Other health benefits of palm oil include a balanced composition of saturated and unsaturated fats. It also does not require hydrogenation due to its natural semi-solid state, thus avoiding the formation of trans fatty acid, which is bad for health. Its high oxidative state also allows for quality and healthy food to be cooked at high temperatures up to 200 C, making it ideal for deep frying. Our Malaysian palm oil also imparts a long shelf life and can be stored at room temperature. When cooking, palm oil also produces less “gummy” materials and makes cleaning up more manageable.

The palm oil industry has been evolving, and many are already ahead of the curve to produce this beneficial oil sustainably. One such company is Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (“KLK”), a leading palm oil producer in the industry. KLK believes that it is essential to educate the younger generation with the basic knowledge of one of the main commodities the country has to offer and for them to have accurate information about the palm oil sector.

In line with this, KLK launched its Palm Oil Education Programme in 2018 and the first year alone; the programme reached more than 800 students around the Kinta Valley. This year, the programme was extended to another 1200 students from SMK Ulu Kinta, SMK Buntong, SMK Gunung Rapat and SMJK Perempuan Perak. The KLK Palm Oil Education Programme consists of an educational presentation on palm oil and its application, followed by team activities and a hands-on soap making session using locally sourced sustainable palm-based products.

Malaysia is the second-largest palm oil producer in the world, and we as Malaysians have a role to play in fulfilling the growing global need for oils and fats sustainably. It is crucial that we raise better awareness about the palm oil industry amongst our future generation and instil national pride and a greater appreciation for our Malaysian palm oil.

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