BIO palm oil

30. April 2014

BIO palm oil, BIO palm olein, BIO palm stearin INCI name: Elaeis guineensis oil Origin: Colombia, Ecuador, Africa

Organic palm oil is obtained from the pulp of the oil palm. The oil palm has a very high oil yield – and thus energy per m² of cultivation. In comparison to the oil yield of palm oil amounting to 5,000 – 8,000 kg / ha / year, the harvests of other common vegetable oils and fats are several orders of magnitude lower: 

Soya : ca. 350 kg / ha / Jahr 

Sunflower oil: ca. 500 kg / ha / Jahr 

Rapeseed oil: ca. 550 kg / ha / Jahr

Coconut oil: ca. 350 kg / ha / Jahr 

Because of their high carotene content the fruit and the raw oil have an orange-red colour. Freshly pressed palm oil has a specific violet-sent and a sweet, palatable taste. Only one tablespoon of pressed palm oil contains more than the daily recommended dosage of vitamin A, beta-carotene and vitamin D. Organic palm oil is one of the all-rounder oils which can be utilized for a broad range of different applications. Palm oil is one of the few vegetable oils which is solid at room temperature and is thus also known as palm grease. Basic information about palm trees and its oil 

Growth (height) per year 60 - 70 cm
Trunk circumference 355 cm
Leaf colour green
Palm frond growth per year 24 - 30
Palm frond length 6 - 8 m
Colour of the ripe fruit yellow / red
Ripening time of the fruit 12 - 15 months
First harvest 30 months after planting
Plant density 136 – 160 palms / ha
Fruit type Tenera (DXP)
Number of fruit bunches 12 / year
Number of fruit per bunch 1.000 - 3.000
Weight per bunch of fruit 20 - 30 kg
Size of the fruit approx. 5 cm
Weight of the individual fruit approx. 10 gr
Seed proportion per fruit 5 - 8%
Fruit pulp proportion per fruit 85 - 92%
Oil content in the fruit pulp 20 - 50 %
Oil yield 5 - 8 mt / ha / year

Organic palm oil is utilized in hundreds of products such as bread spreads, cookies, convenience foods, chips, soups, sauces but also in numerous cosmetic articles such as salves, creams, sun cream, body lotion and lipstick. The palm oil offered by OPW Ingredients originates exclusively from certified, organic cultivation. The following basic requirements are absolutely mandatory for the successful BIO certification:

  1. The oil palms may only be cultivated in locations already used for agriculture in the past. Rainforest is never destroyed to create plantations.
  2. Fertilisation to maintain the fertility of the soil utilizes exclusively natural components and compost brought to the plantations. Weeds and undesired growth are eliminated through manual labour using machetes. The targeted use of beneficial insects and mushrooms prevents pests and diseases.
  3. The plantation operators assume the social responsibility for their employees and farmers. This commitment and the above-average wages paid at the plantations give rise to schools and training facilities, medical centres and residential facilities which provide the employees and the region's inhabitants with a the greater quality of life.

The production volume and the cultivation area of the BIO plantations are limited accordingly and there is currently a rising trend. Every year approximately 50,000 t of BIO-certified palm oil is available from supervised organic cultivation. Measured against the worldwide annual production volume of conventional palm oil, this is less than 0.1% of the worldwide cultivation volume. The annual worldwide production volume of conventional palm oil is currently approximately 50 million tonnes. With a market share of more than 30%, palm oil is the world's most important vegetable oil!Several facts regarding the nutritional aspects of palm oil:

  1. Palm oil is one of the vegetable oils and fats which fulfils the requirements of the Codex Alimentarius
  2. Palm oil has a more than 5.000 year history for use with food preparation
  3. Palm oil consists of almost equal proportions of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids
  4. As per the applicable foodstuff laws, palm oil may be declared as cholesterol-free
  5. Using fractionation, palm oil does not require chemical hardening using hydrogen and nickel catalysts
  6. Palm oil is rich in natural vitamin E, unrefined (red) palm oil also contains a high level of natural carotene and vitamin A
  7. Palm oil is easy to digest, is completely reabsorbed by the human organism and utilized as a source of energy

The primary cultivation locations are currently in Colombia and Brazil. At the current point in time, additional plantations are currently being established in Africa in compliance with the BIO guidelines. This is a project with a future as it is very difficult to find a vegetable oil with similar characteristics for which palm oil determines the consistency, above all, such as with spreads, for example. Especially in Africa but also in parts of South America there is sufficient agricultural land with low plate numbers which was originally used as grazing lands or lay fallow which is very suitable for cultivating oil parts. The governments in these countries have recognised the trend and are subsidising projects which contribute to the reforestation of these areas. The reforestation of the areas means that 80% of the purchased land is used for the production and cultivation of organic palm oil and the remaining proportion for the infrastructure and the cultivation of a diversified environment (flora and fauna). Palm oil forms the basis for additional sub-products which are gained through fractionation (targeted calling and filtering of the crystalline phase): BIO palm stearin and BIO palm oleine. The processing industry utilizes the specific characteristics of the individual fractions.  

Product / Parameter

Bio palm oil 

Bio palm oleine 

Bio palm stearin 

ffa % >max. 0.1 max. 0.3 max. 0.3
Iodine value GC 50 - 55 > 56 38 -41
Melting point °C 30 - 37 < 24 50 - 54
Saponification value 190 - 209 194 - 202 193 - 205
Fatty acid distribution % 
C 14:0 1.5 1.0 1.5
C 16:0 44.0 40.0 60.0
C18:0 4.5 4.5 5.0
C 18:1 39.5 43.0 26.5
C 18:2 10.5 11.5 7.0

BIO palm stearin forms the "hard" component and serves a basis, above all, for margarine products. The melting point of BIO palm stearin is 50 – 54°C and thus offers the basis for products which are solid at room temperature. Bio palm olein forms the "soft" or "liquid" part of the fractionation and is frequently used as deep frying oil because of its high concentration of simple, unsaturated fatty acids and its high level of temperature stability. The proportions of palm olein and palm stearin when fractionating palm oil are approximately 80% palm olein and 20% palm stearin. OPW Ingredients as very good availabilities for these products and guarantees long-term supply reliability in cooperation with the existing suppliers from a variety of different countries of origin. In addition to the way and protein specialities offered by OPW Ingredients GmbH, we also offer a diverse range of speciality oils of African and Mediterranean origin. Our extensive range also includes other products such as Castor oil, Almond oil, Walnut oil, Apricot kernel oil, Sesame oil, MCT oil, We are happy to offer you oils for personal care, various organic oils and gourmet oils to meet your needs. The OPW team is always available to assist and advise you.  

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