Palm oil is solid

Palm oil, being a more solid oil, has an advantage over soybean oil and canola oil in baked foods. IOI Loders Croklaan, Channahon, Ill., has focused on removing trans fat and phos from all applications since 2003. The company has developed more than 200 systems free of phos that offer functionality across a range of applications leveraging the versatility of palm oil.

Palm oil is about 50% saturated fat, and the American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of saturated fats people eat to less than 7% of total daily calories. Yet the palm oil industry may point to recent research showing saturated fat may be more of a “neutral” fat. A study published in 2014 in the Annals of Internal Medicine examined data from 32 observational studies of fatty acids from dietary intake, 17 observational studies of fatty acid biomarkers and 27 randomized, controlled trials of fatty acid supplementation.

“Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats,” the researchers concluded.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, as its name implies, addresses the sustainability issue. About 20% of the global palm oil supply, or 12.65 million tonnes, now is produced in a certified sustainable manner, according to the R.S.P.O., a global, multi-stakeholder initiative.

The Rainforest Action Network defines “conflict palm oil” as a leading driver of tropical deforestation, land grabbing and international human and labor rights violations. The Rainforest Action Network on June 17 issued a progress report titled “Testing Commitments to Cut Conflict Palm Oil.” It divided 20 snack food companies into “front runners” and “laggards” based on their efforts to reduce conflict palm oil use. Achieving front-runner status were ConAgra Foods, Inc.; Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.; General Mills, Inc.; The Hershey Co.; The Kellogg Co.; Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc.; Mars, Inc.; Mondel?z; Nestle SA; and the J.M. Smucker Co.

The global palm oil market should increase at a compound annual growth rate of 7.3% from 2014 to 2022 and reach 128.2 million tons, up from 74.01 million tons in 2014, according to a study released in July of this year by Grand View Research, Inc., a market research and consulting company based in San Francisco. Biofuel demand will be a key driver for palm oil growth as will consumers shifting to vegetable oils containing low trans fat, according to the study.