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Palm kernel oil is a solid vegetable oil.

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Production of palm kernel oil

Palm kernel oil is produced from seeds (stones) of the oil palm fruit (bot.: Elaeis guineensis). For the production of palm oil the whole fruit with the oily pulp is pressed. What remains is the so called fibre cake that consists of stones (seeds) and pressed fibres. Fibres and stones are now separated and the fibres are dried in silos. The dried stones are crushed and the kernels removed. Those kernels have to be dried again because only when dry can they be fed to the oil mills to remove the oil with heat and extraction. Palm kernel oil is similar to coconut oil in colour and taste but has a higher content of fatty acids than coconut oil. Palm kernel oil has a high heat stability and keeps longer than other fats. It is a popular base for the production of margarine.

In Malaysia and West Africa, where oil palms are cultivated, by-products from the palm kernel oil production are also used for different purposes. The dry fibre cake from pressing palm oil and the kernel shells are used as fuel for the drying ovens. Leftovers from the kernel oil production are used as nutritious animal feed.

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