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Chemical and Physical Properties of Palm oil and Palm Kernel Oil

Group Members: Amirah Nurul Hidayah Nurul Nadiah

Oleochemicals are chemicals derived from plant and animal fats Sources to produce oleochemical plant product:


Chemical Properties:
Triglycerides and Fatty Acid Composition formed from glycerol and fatty acids


Fatty acid


Monoglycerides: only one fatty acid is bonded to the glycerols Diglycerides: consisting 2 fatty acid is bonded to the glycerols

Fatty acid composition: vary in the number of carbons present in the chain and in the structure (saturated or unsaturated). The length of fatty acid present in the triglycerides fall within 12 to 20 carbon. The number of carbon and structure will largely define the chemical and physical properties of the oil.

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


Palm kernel oil is obtained from the kernel of the oil palm fruit. Its composition and properties differ significantly from palm oil. Palm kernel oil is similar to coconut oil in terms of composition, and is produced by mechanical extraction of the kernels which are pre-dried in palm oil mills through a partial vacuum process. The quality of the oil is excellent, with free fatty acids of the crude oil generally below 2%. It is light yellow in colour and is refined physically to produce a very light coloured oil used for both edible and inedible purposes. The oil is also semi-solid at ambient temperatures.

50% fatty acid in palm oil is saturated and the other 50 % is unsaturated. Determine by referring to the iodine value (IV) Shows that the palm oil can confers some stability against oxidation. Physical properties which will be affected by the structure of fatty acid: Melting point Crystallization behavior of the oil

Saturated fatty acid: long-chain carboxylic acids that usually have between 12 and 24 carbon atoms and have no double bonds

Unsaturated fatty acid: Have double bonds between carbon atoms. two carbon atoms in the chain that are bound next to either side of the double bond can occur in a cis or trans configuration.

Minor component: carotenoids, tocopherols, sterols, phosphatides, triterpenic, and aliphatic alcohols Present less than 1% in the oil. play a signicant role in the stability and renability of the oil, increase the nutritive value of the oil

Carotenoids: Between 500 and 700 ppm of carotenoids mainly in the forms of alpha-and beta-carotenes these carotenoids are thermally destroyed during the deodorization stage in order to produce the desired color for a rened oil the presence of these carotenoids appears to offer some oxidative protection to the oil.

Composition of Carotenoids

Composition of Tocopherols and Tocotrienols

combined effects of the properties of the carotenoids, tocopherols, tocotrienols and the 50% unsaturation causes the oil to higher oxiditve stability. Sterol: contains far less cholesterol than many other vegetable oils Low cholesterol levels in crude palm oil and crude palm olein are further reduced to even lower levels upon rening

Cholesterols level in Crude Oil and Fats

Sterol Composition in Crude and Refined Palm Oil

Palm oil
PO consists mainly of palmitic acid C16:0 (43.7%), stearic acid C18:0 (4.4%), oleic acid C18:1 (39.9%) and linoleic acid C18:2 (10.3%) Minor components Carotenoids: 500-700 ppm Tocopherols/ tocotrienols: 6001000 ppm Cholesterol Average: 18 ppm Palm oil has very low levels of cholesterol as similar to other vegetable oils. The value is even lower in RBD PO


PKO closely resembles coconut oil in its fatty acid (FA) composition. It has a higher content of shorter chain FA, lauric acid C12:0 (48%) and myristic acid C14:0 (16%) approx Minor components Carotenoids: very low levels Tocopherols/ tocotrienols: Tocopherols level similar to PO but only traces of tocotrienols Cholesterol Average: 17 ppm