Palm Oil Developments No.72 (June 2020) p15-18

Characteristics of Palm Oil/Palm Olein as a Frying Oil

Johari Minal

Palm oil is extracted from the flesh of the fruit of the oil palm, Elaeis guineensis, which is a native of West Africa. In Malaysia, the high-yielding tenera variety of E. guineensis is the most commonly cultivated oil palm. Tenera is a cross between dura and pisifera. There are two types of oil produced from the palm fruit: palm oil from the flesh (the orangey fibrous outer layer of the fruit) and palm kernel oil from the white kernel inside the shell of the oil palm fruit. Out of these two oils, many fractions of palm and palm kernel oil can be produced for a variety of food applications. For frying, only palm oil and palm olein (the liquid fraction of palm oil) are commonly used in industrial frying and in the food services industry. Palm olein is also used as a general household cooking oil in tropical countries. Through industrial experiences and scientific studies, the following facts have been established for palm oil/olein as a frying oil: they have high oxidative stability; the frying oil has an extended life span; the fried foods have a longer shelf-life and favourable organoleptic quality; the fryer requires less maintenance; the foods cook faster; there is less oil absorption by the fried foods; and palm oil/olein is naturally stable, that is it does not need hydrogenation or addition of synthetic anti-oxidants to slow down oxidative degradation.

Author information:
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB),
6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi,
43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.