Hyderabad: While the general perception of the consumers is that the palm oil is cheap and is not transparent like the refined oils, they often ignore the fact that many of the snacks that are available in the big stores are made out of some derivates or by products of the palm oil. Restaurants and hotels also use palm oil to make food.
Palm oil manufacturers claim that global politics and pro sunflower and soy bean lobby is responsible for creating such an image. The red or dark color of palm oil or rice bran oil for that matter is not inferior to any other refined oils that are transparent like water. In terms of nutritional properties all oils are the same, they say.
There are two types of palm oil available in the market, the red palm oil which is cold pressed and the lighter version which is refined. Cold pressed palm oil is desirable for those concerned about their health as the oil is produced by traditional and natural methods. Oil seeds are pressed to extract oil just like pressing juice from fruits. Oil palm, groundnut, sesame seeds, coconut and olive are few that can be ‘cold processed’. The process, unlike that of refined oil, is simple. The seeds are cleaned and dried naturally. They are crushed under a slow crushing machine. Oil is separated from the crushed seed natural gravity sedimentation.
The redefined oil on the other hand goes through a different process. Oil seeds are crushed and then heated in a steam bath at 110-2,000 degree celsius high temperature. The Mixture of oil and seed pulp is then chemically processed with hexane solvent to extract residual oil from the pulp. The mixture then goes through a centrifuge and phosphate is used to separate oil from seed residues. Then water is added resulting in hydrated phosphatides which is separated by decantation. The product then undergoes neutralisation followed by bleaching. Finally the oil is deodorized by sending through high temperature, killing almost all nutrients.
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