Heartland Nuts

Palm Nut Oil

Palm nut oil is distinctly different from palm oil. Palm oil is obtained from the flesh of palm fruit and is used as shortening, cooking oil, and in many food products. Palm nut oil is extracted from the kernel, or seed, of palm fruit and is nearly 80 percent saturated fat. The characteristics of the two are different both chemically and physically. Palm nut oil is very similar to coconut oil and can be used in place of it with virtually no difference in chemistry.

Palm fruit oil contains a balance of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats. Virgin palm fruit oil has a reddish-orange color and can be fractionated into a liquid (olein), solid (stearin), and an intermediate fraction as shortening. Palm fruit oil as a liquid for frying and other cooking processes is a healthier alternative to other sources of cooking oil and as a shortening for baking and in pastries provides a light, flaky texture.

While palm oil has greater use in food products and is rich in carotene and Vitamin E, palm nut oil or palm kernel oil may sometimes be used as the fatty substance in non-dairy coffee creamer and margarine and is sometimes used in livestock feed. However, more frequently because of its undesirable high saturated fat content, palm nut oil is used in non-food products - specifically soap. Soap manufacturers use palm nut oil as a lather-boosting ingredient in soaps. Palm nut oil is primarily a solid fat, but can also be purchased in flake form as an additive to handmade soap recipes. Palm nut oil is typically not the main oil ingredient in soap and accounts for about 15 to 20 percent of the total ingredients. Flaked palm nut oil is sold for about $3.00 per pound, is usually bleached white and is odorless.

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