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The difference and characteristics of palm oil, red palm oil, and hard palm oil

August 17, 2021

Palm oil is one of the essential fats and oils for making handmade soap. However, there are many statements about palm oil in the market, such as: palm oil, red palm oil, white palm oil, soft palm oil, hard palm oil, palm kernel oil, palm kernel Oil, etc., for many non-professionals, the difference and characteristics are not clear. Let me give you a more comprehensive introduction.


Palm fruit


Palm oil is extracted from the palm fruit (Elaeis Guineensis) on the oil palm tree. The main source is African oil palm. It is native to tropical Africa and is also produced in Central America, Malaysia and Indonesia. Its main producing area is Malaysia, which accounts for 60% of the world's output of palm oil.

Palm fruit is composed of exocarp, mesocarp (mature mesocarp is also called pulp), endocarp and kernel kernel.

The oil squeezed from the pulp is called palm oil.

The oil squeezed from the nuts is called palm kernel oil.

The composition of the two oils is quite different. Palm oil mainly contains two common fatty acids: palmitic acid (C 16) and oleic acid (C 18). The degree of saturation of palm oil is about 50%; palm kernel oil mainly contains lauric acid (C 12), with a degree of saturation of 80% above. Palm oil is a yellow oil with a reddish color.

Traditionally, palm oil only refers to crude palm oil (CPO) and refined palm oil (RPO) extracted from palm pulp, and does not include palm kernel oil.


Palm fruit


Red palm oil and white palm oil

The oil that is directly squeezed from the fresh red coconut pulp is called "red palm oil" without decolorization and refining treatment, and "white palm oil" is called "white palm oil" after decolorization and refining treatment.

In addition to the characteristics of palm oil, red palm oil is not decolorized and refined palm oil. Red palm oil has a high content of carotenoids (700-1000ppm) in natural vegetable oils, which is 30 times that of squash radish. A relatively large amount of vitamin E, an antioxidant substance, helps repair wounds or rough skin, and has a great effect on the skin.

The other is its natural red nature. It can also be used to adjust the color of handmade soap. It is a natural toner, but it is not easy to buy.

Refined red palm oil (Carotino Premium) (food grade) is obtained by pressing the fruit of the oil palm tree (Oil Palm, Elaeis guineensis). It has not been decolorized and is an unrefined oil with hard fatty acids separated. Natural pumpkin color. Contains more than others Vegetable oil has high antioxidant content. It is also a good source of vitamin E.

Palm fruit oil itself is not prone to oxidative rancidity and is also suitable for use at higher temperatures. Basically, the physical properties of palm fruit oil are similar to palm oil, and the fatty acid composition is similar, but it is better than palm oil.

Generally, the soap is refined white palm oil, which contains more than 40% oleic acid, and it also has the required moisturizing power. Palm oil has a high melting point. After being added into soap, it can give the finished product a good hardness and is not easy to melt. Palm oil-based soaps are strong, durable and mild. Therefore, commercial cosmetic soaps are often made with palm oil. However, apart from its strong and durable characteristics, white palm oil has no other benefits to the skin. Various nutrients are far inferior to other oils. The high content of palmitic acid is not beneficial to the skin. Therefore, as a cosmetic soap, it is better to use more The oils that are beneficial to the skin are better used.


Palm fruit


Generally, palm oil on the market is divided into

1. Refined soft palm oil (Rbd Palm Olein): referred to as soft palm oil, it can be used as a raw material for margarine, frying oil in the food industry, household cooking oil, etc.

2. Refined hard palm oil (Rbd Palm Stearin): abbreviated as hard palm oil, which is refined from palm oil through crystallization and separation of stearin. It is usually used as a raw material for margarine to adjust the hardness of the product. Generally speaking, hard palm oil will appear semi-solid or solid when it is below normal temperature (27°C).

If you want to know about palm oil processing technology, please feel free to contact us.