The Main Functions of Palm Oil
1. Application of palm oil in the catering industry
Palm oil has been used for catering for more than 5,000 years. Compared with other edible oils, palm oil has good oxidation resistance (friedness resistance) and ideal fatty acid composition in frying and grilling foods. Oil palm is a high-yield perennial oil plant that can be harvested for about 20 years at a time. The yield is high and stable, so its economic advantage is also obvious.
2. Food industry use of palm oil
In the food industry, palm oil is generally processed into shortening, margarine, hydrogenated palm oil, fried oil and special fats.
(1) Shortening oil. Unlike margarine, margarine is 80% fat and 20% water, while shortening is 100% pure oil. There are many types of shortening, and each type of food needs to be made with special shortening. Palm oil is a suitable raw material for making shortening.
(2) Margarine. Margarine is an emulsion composed of water and oil. The original production of margarine was to imitate cream. Nowadays, many types of products have been formed. Among them, palm liquid oil is suitable for making liquid margarine, and palm stearin is suitable for making solid margarine.
(3) Hydrogenated palm oil. Hydrogenated palm oil is more commonly consumed in India, Pakistan and the Middle East, and these countries often use it as a butterfat product.
(4) Special fats. Palm oil and palm kernel oil are the ideal raw materials for the production of special oils. The special oils are mainly used in the production of candy, especially chocolate. Among them, palm kernel stearin is also called “substitute cocoa butter” because its physical properties are very close to cocoa butter.
3. Industrial use of palm oil
The melting point of refined palm oil for industrial use is not less than 44 °C. There are two main industrial USES of palm oil:
One is directly available from palm oil, such as soaps, epoxy palm oil and its polyols, polyurethanes and polyacrylates; the other is oleochemical products such as fatty acids, esters, fatty alcohols, Nitrogen-containing compounds and glycerin. On the basis of these products, various derivatives can also produced through different chemical methods.
The main raw materials of oleochemicals are rich in oils and fats with the length of C12-C14 and C16-C18 carbon chains. among which palm kernel oil, palm stearin and palmitic acid are the main raw materials.