InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – Palm oil is the edible vegetable oil which derives from the mesocarp of the fresh fruit bunch. Palm oil industries in Indonesia play the important roles to the economy because palm oil is easy to produce, could be processed to food, cleaning products, cosmetic, and source of biodiesel. Many are fond of it. From the price, palm oil is economic and could give profits to the stakeholders. That is why many stakeholders are interesting to develop palm oil plantations.
In general palm oil needs the warm temperature, sunshine, and good raining to have maximal production. These are the reasons why palm oil is mostly developed in Asia, Africa, and South America. In Indonesia, the productive palm oil or often called as the productive plantations grow in Java, Kalimantan, Sumatera, and some regions in Sulawesi.
As the promising plantation in Indonesia, palm oil has many kinds of advantages for our health. One spoon of palm oil has g 120 calories, 13,6 gram of fat. 2,17 mg vitamin E, and 1,1 mcg vitamin K. Half of the contents are full of saturated fat, 40% are single unsaturated fat, and the rests are double unsaturated fat. Vitamin E in palm oil consists of 8 anti-oxidants to protect the skin by postponing the free radical which could damages the skin. Vitamin K in palm oil could help the wound to be covered from inside and keep the blood in our body stable.
The fatty acid, omega-3, in palm oil could reduce the risk of cancer, arthritis, and heart attack. Omega-3 is concentrated in our brain and could help us to remember, the cognitive, and to behave which maintain the brain function maximally runs. The single unsaturated fat in palm oil could reduce the cholesterol but the single saturated and unsaturated fat, have high calories.
American Palm Oil Council revealed that the yellow color in palm oil which is called as carotenoids has beta-carotene (derivative of vitamin A) as the anti-oxidant. The beta-carotene functions to increase the immunity in our body and protect us from the disease which is caused by the cell damage.
But from the positive in palm oil, there are side effects too. Much saturated fat and calories in palm oil would be risky to our body. If it is consumed continuously, palm oil could make our body heavier, have something to do with hearth, and other disease because of the much fat inside palm oil.
The high saturated far could make cholesterol and plaque in the artery. The long term effect could trigger the heart attack and stroke. If we consume palm oil in much, the cholesterol in the blood would increase because of the increasing fat. (Write: Lathifah Nur/ The Students of Agribusiness, Faculty of Agriculture, 2017/ Universitas Padjajaran)