Even with its bad reputation in the west owing to sustainability concerns, palm oil is one of the most typical food products utilised in the APAC F&B marketplace, penetrating almost each possible sector from bakery to snacks to beverages.
According to edible oils brand name Mewah, at current the use of palm oil is particularly common both equally geographically and in phrases of purposes, so significantly so that absolutely changing it at this juncture would be a in the vicinity of-not possible attempt.
“Palm oil is at the moment consumed by about three billion people today in some 150 international locations [and] pretty much each sector inside the Asian food stuff market is using some portion of palm oil to make their solutions,” Mewah R&D Methods R&D Leader Dr Prakash Adhikari told the flooring in his Palm Oil Features and Flexibility in Finished Foods Products webinar arranged by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).
“One of the explanations palm oil is so widely used is thanks to its composition of 50% saturated and 50% unsaturated extra fat, which is distinctive to palm oil and delivers it with exclusive properties permitting it particularly high versatility to be used in numerous different types of solutions, which other oils like sunflower or soybean can’t do.
“This composition provides palm oil qualities this kind of as superior oxidation stability, and also minimizes the need for extra processing which would induce trans fats content, making it trans unwanted fat no cost.
“Importantly, it also allows for a extensive range of modifications to be made to palm oil – this kind of as fractionation, as this yields several diverse palm oil solution kinds that can be utilised for various purposes, e.g. sure fractions are utilised to make chocolate, others in bakery, some others in cooking and frying and so on.”
Dr Adhikari added that the fractionation of palm oil can generate more than 10 diverse products and solutions, most of which can be made use of for diverse foodstuff programs, and it would be tricky to discover a one substitute that can replicate all of these features.
“I am not declaring that only palm oil can be made use of to generate these items, of class, [but] at the moment palm oil is remaining utilized for so lots of programs because of to its exceptional flexibility – and in nature, there are pretty restricted, if any, oils which have these kinds characteristics to allow for for all these purposes,” he claimed.
“At existing, above 50% of packaged foods products and solutions in supermarkets are designed using palm oil [and coupled with] its globally aggressive pricing, it is a single of the most globally utilized commodities [and replacing it would be difficult].”
That explained, there are a lot of meals corporations specifically in the west which are making an attempt to do just that, however with restricted purposes at a time, with ‘Palm Oil Free’ or ‘No Palm Oil’ labelling starting to be a notable development for products in some marketplaces, a phenomenon that the MPOC is seeking to initiate action towards.
One illustration is Australian chocolate brand name Darrell Lea which declared that it experienced turn out to be the ‘first homegrown chocolate brand to go 100% palm oil free’ by replacing palm oil with sunflower oil, while and even massive makes this sort of as Cadbury have bowed to client strain in some international locations like New Zealand and taken out palm oil from their candies. Palm oil is still being utilised in merchandise created in Asian countries this kind of as Indonesia or Malaysia.
Answers outside of a boycott
Talking at the identical party, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Head of Analytical and Excellent Enhancement Unit Dr Azmil Haizam Ahmad Tarmizi included that thanks to the common use of palm oil, there requirements to be greater answers to dealing with problems that governments these kinds of as the EU are fearing, such as foods safety concerns – as opposed to boycotts or wholly halting the use of palm oil.
“Food protection is exceptionally important to the Malaysian palm oil industry as 89% of our palm oil is exported and 85% is utilized in food applications, so we consider this incredibly severely,” he stated.
“We are knowledgeable that in modern many years, one particular of the main worries specially in the EU relating to palm oil has been about its 3-MCPD esters written content [and] we have been taking measures to conquer this.
“The Malaysian government has granted some RM50mn (US$12mn) to the field to analyse the situation and execute trials to mitigate 3-MCPD, and immediately after investigating, we identified a sturdy correlation in between the levels of chloride (owing to contamination) and 3-MCPD in the palm oil.
As a consequence, MPOB has cautioned mills and refineries to lower or take out the use of any chlorinated bleach, and also applied a palm oil ‘washing’ move in refineries to take out chloride.
“Implementation of the ‘washing’ has pushed chloride concentrations down from 7ppm to 1.3ppm following washing, which corresponded in a drop of 3-MCPD stages from 2.61ppm before washing to .85ppm following washing,” reported Dr Azmil.
“That’s a 81.2% fall in chloride articles and 67.4% reduction in 3-MCPD amounts. Importantly, current EU food stuff basic safety suggestions position 3-MCPD boundaries for seed oils at 1.25 parts for each million (ppm) and for other vegetable oils at 2.5ppm, so this would put palm oil beneath this restrict.
“Of system, if palm oil mills have the potential to do top quality assurance these types of that their crude palm oil has no chloride, then this washing action can be omitted, but at existing it is what functions.”
He also stressed that in their study, MPOB has also observed that substantial 3-MCPD stages are also found in other oils these kinds of as olive oil, walnut oil and peanut oil, ‘so it is not just palm oil that requirements to strengthen on this’.