Rare albino orangutan spotted in Borneo rainforest

The world's only known albino orangutan has been spotted alive and well in a Borneo rainforest, more than a year after she was released into the wild, conservationists say.

Soil life thrives between oil palm fronds

The threat to insects and other small creatures from rainforest clearance and the consequences for the environment in tropical regions are recognised. What has not been studied so far is whether, and how, the oil palm plantations ...

Eco-friendly biodiesel from palm oil?

Vegetable oil biofuels are increasingly being used as an alternative to fossil fuels despite the growing controversy regarding their sustainability. In a new study led by the University of Göttingen, researchers investigated ...

Preparing land for palm oil causes most climate damage

New research has found preparing land for palm oil plantations and the growth of young plants causes significantly more damage to the environment, emitting double the amount of greenhouse gases than mature plantations.

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Palm oil

Palm oil is an edible plant oil derived from the fruit and kernels (seeds) of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis. Palm oil is naturally reddish because it contains a high amount of beta-carotene (though boiling it destroys the carotenoids and renders the oil colourless). Palm oil is one of the few vegetable oils relatively high in saturated fats (like coconut oil) and thus semi-solid at room temperature.

The oil is widely used as a cooking oil, as an ingredient in margarine, and is a component of many processed foods. It is also an important component of many soaps, washing powders and personal care products, is used to treat wounds, and also controversially as a feedstock for biofuel.

Palm oil was previously the second-most widely produced edible oil, after soybean oil,[citation needed]. However, in the 2004-2005 marketing year, 33.5 million metric tonnes were produced worldwide, compared to 32.6 million metric tonnes of soybean oil.

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