Collaboration in Palm Oil R&D Needed

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) has been urged to actively seek more

collaboration with the private sector in ensuring the success of its

research programmes as well as more effective commercialisation of

promising research findings.

On that note, the Minister of

Plantation Industries and Commodities Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the

research and development (R&D), used to upgrade technology used in

palm oil mills must be encouraged.

“It will not only reduce

production costs but also maximise technological commercialisation and

commercial exploitation of by-products.

“To maximise the

potential and opportunities in this lucrative industry, it is important

we encourage investment to stimulate R&D into upgrading the

technology used in palm oil mills,” he said at the opening ceremony of

the ModiPalm Continuous Sterilisation Forum here.

Dompok’s speech was read by his Deputy, Datuk G. Palanivel.

He also

said that palm oil millers should be mindful of the opportunities

created by the adoption of newer and better technology such as

continuous sterilisation.

The MPOB first carried out exploratory

research studies to develop a new continous sterilisation process in

1997.
This was followed by a pilot plant study which led to the

building of the first commercial-scale systems in Selaba Palm Oil Mill

in 2000 and the Palm Oil Mill Technology Centre in 2001.

He said

following the success of these pioneering commercial-scale

implementations, the system for continuous sterilisation had been

further refined and improved and has now been adopted by 62 palm oil

mills worldwide.

Dompok said the commercialisation of

technological innovations, especially in the field of palm oil

processing, was an industry worth billions of ringgit.

He also

said although about 20 per cent of the overall cost of producing palm

oil could be attributed to palm oil milling operations, there was still

considerable scope to reduce manpower by 50 per cent by converting from

the batch sterilisation process to the continuous sterilisation process.

He

added that the continuous sterilisation process provides the impetus

for radical changes in the design and operation of palm oil mills.

“It

appears timely to take a more holistic approach to modernising palm oil

mills by intensifying research into downstream processes, that can

optimally complement this new process, to achieve a paradigm change in

palm oil milling technology,” he said. — Bernama

Source : Business Times

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