Palm oil types

Red palm oil and white palmoil are the common palm oil types. All of them comes from the same source. Redor virgin palm oil is becoming the most popular among individual consumers. Whitepalm oil is preferred for commercial use. The basic difference between red andwhite palm oil is the degree of processing. In addition, there is fractionatedpalm oil. Fractionation is the separation of the different components ortriglycerides.

Red palm oil

White palm oil

When red palm oil isfractionated, the polyunsaturated triglycerides liquefy first, followed by themonounsaturated triglycerides. What happens is that the liquid portion isenriched with unsaturated triglycerides and the solid portion is enriched withsaturated triglycerides. These two fractions are called palm olein(liquid) andpalm stearin (solid).

The benefit of separating palmoil into olein and stearin fractions is that they can be used for differentpurposes. When a hard fat is needed for certain recipe, such as croissants,palm oil stearin makes a perfect choice. When a liquid fat is needed, as in asalad dressing, palm oil olein is preferred.

The most common palm oil typessold in grocery stores are non-fractionated red palm oi, red palm oil olein,and white palm oil stearin(palm shortening).

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