What is the difference between Palm Fruit and Palm Kernel Oils?
While palm fruit and palm kernel oils have noteworthy differences, the most important question is how and where these oils are sourced. The organic, non-GMO certified palm fruit oil we use in all MELT products is sourced from Columbia (South America) and certified Fair Trade/ Ecosocial by the RSPO and Rainforest Alliance (www.rspo.org, www.rainforest-alliance.org).The palm fruit oil we source is not linked to the destruction of old growth rain forests, the release of greenhouse gases, the displacement of native people, or the extinction of orangutans or Sumatran tigers (which only live in Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia). Our certifications verify the palm plantations we source from are not developed by removing rain forests, but by converting pre-existing agricultural land to palm oil production. Because our supplier has several Fair Trade programs above and beyond the standards set forth by the RSPO, they are currently in the process of achieving Fair Trade certification by the end of 2015.
We often receive inquiries asking the difference between palm fruit and palm kernel oils, which we are happy to address. First, it is important to note that both palm fruit and palm kernel oils are better to consume than oxidized oils, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, and other “bad” fats. We only use palm fruit oil in our products, not because palm kernel oil is “bad”, but because palm fruit oil contributes a better overall balance of fatty acids in MELT®’s Perfect Blend. The concept behind the Perfect Blend is balancing a variety of fatty acids in the diet for wellness.
Both palm fruit oil and palm kernel oil come from palm trees, but there the similarity ends.
Palm fruit oil comes from the palm fruit, the orange flesh that surrounds the palm seed. About 37 percent of palm fruit oil is monounsaturated fat, 50 percent is saturated fat, and 9 percent is polyunsaturated fat (see below). Unrefined, palm fruit oil’s reddish or golden color indicates the presence of carotenoids, which the body converts into vitamin A. Most importantly, palm fruit oil is high in tocotreinols, a form of vitamin E. We use palm fruit oil over palm kernel oil because of its monounsaturated fat content and high levels of Vitamin E.
Palm kernel oil is extracted from the palm seed and has a fatty acid composition that is almost identical to coconut oil (see below), high in medium-chain fatty acids (i.e., caprylic, capric, and lauric acids) and with a total saturated fat content of over 80 percent. For MELT Organic spreads, we use palm fruit oil over palm kernel oil for its monounsaturated fat content, which provides a better overall balance to the fatty acid composition of MELT Organic spreads.