The popularity of palm oil as a raw material for both food and non-food products has been increasing. Today, many food products on the supermarket shelves around the world contain palm oil. These include margarine, chocolates, chips, spreads, ice cream, cakes and cookies. Palm-based oleochemicals, meanwhile, are highly suitable for the manufacture of non-food items such as personal care, cosmetics, and household and industrial products.
There are reasons to explain this. Food manufacturers prefer to use palm oil because of its nutritional content and competitive pricing. Palm oil is a ‘balanced’ oil that is free of cholesterol, trans fats and genetically modified organisms (GMO). It is also one of the richest sources of micronutrients such as pro-Vitamin A carotenoids and Vitamin E tocotrienols as well as an excellent substitute for vegetable oils that require hydrogenation – the process that creates harmful trans fats in the food manufacturing process.