Palm oil has a balanced fatty acid composition in which the level of saturated fatty acids is almost equal to that of the unsaturated fatty acids. Palmitic acid (44%-45%) and oleic acid (39%-40%) are the major component acids, with linoleic acid (10%-11%) and only a trace amount of linolenic acid. The low level of linoleic acid and virtual absence of linolenic acid make the oil relatively stable to oxidative deterioration. The Malaysian palm oil has a narrow compositional range. The specifications for the palm oil are given in Malaysian Standard MS814:2007 (Table 2)
Palm oil is unique among vegetable oils because it has a significant amount of saturated acids (10%-15%) at the two-position of its triglycerides. The appreciable amounts of disaturated (POP and PPO) and monosaturated (POO, OPO and PLO) allow it to be easily separated into two products; palm olein and palm stearin. A wide range of fractions with different properties to suit requirements of the food industry is made available through dry fractionation.
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