Are there any differences in the physical and chemical properties of the palm oil and palm kernel oils?

Palm oil is derived from the mesocarp of the palm fruitwhile palm kernel oil is derived from the kernel of the fruit. Are there any differences in the physical and chemical properties of the palm oil and palm kernel oils?

Yes, there are great differences in their physical and chemical properties. Oils and fats are made up mostly of triglycerides with some non-glyceridic materials in small or trace quantities. Difference in chemical composition reflect themselves in differences in physical properties as well. The differences between the two oil are as follows :

Palm Oil (PO)

Palm Kernel Oil (PKO)

1.

Chemical properties

PO consists mainly of palmitic acid C16:0 (43.7%),  stearic acid C18:0 (4.4%), oleic acid C18:1 (39.9%) and linoleic acid C18:2  (10.3%)

1.

Chemical Properties

PKO closely resembles coconut oil in its fatty acid  (FA) composition. It has a higher content of shorter chain FA, lauric acid  C12:0 (48%) and myristic acid C14:0 (16%) approx.

Minor components

Minor components

Carotenoids: 500-700 ppm

Tocopherols/ tocotrienols: 600-1000 ppm

Carotenoids: very low levels

Tocopherols/ tocotrienols: Tocopherols level similar to  PO but only traces of tocotrienols

Cholesterol

Average: 18 ppm

Palm oil has very low levels of cholesterol as similar  to other vegetable oils. The value is even lower in RBD PO

Cholesterol

Average: 17 ppm

2.

Physical properties

Palm oil can be separated by physical processes into 2  fractions, i.e. solid (stearin) and liquid (olein)  

2.

Physical properties

In temperate climates, PKO is a sharp melting fat very  suitable for confectionery and similar uses. PK stearin has physical  properties very similar to cocoa butter and makes the best Cocoa Butter  Substitute (CBS)


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