New tool sheds light on palm oil production

Palm oil is used in a plethora of household products, from food items like packaged pastries and chips to cosmetics and soaps or even biofuels. But most palm oil is produced on mono-crop plantations, grown on huge tracts ...

Plantations are putting primate infants at risk, finds study

Frequent visits to oil palm plantations are leading to a sharp increase in mortality rates among infant southern pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) in the wild, according to a new study published in Current Biology. ...

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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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