Palm Kernel Oil
Palm kernel oil is an edible plant oil derived from the kernel of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis. It should not be confused with the other two edible oils derived from palm fruits: palm oil, extracted from the pulp of the oil palm fruit, and coconut oil, extracted from the kernel of the coconut.
Palm kernel oil, palm oil, and coconut oil are three of the few highly saturated vegetable fats; these oils give the name to the 16-carbon saturated fatty acid palmitic acid that they contain.
Palm kernel oil, which is semi-solid at room temperature, is more saturated than palm oil and comparable to coconut oil.
Oil from the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis has long been recognized in West African countries. European merchants trading with West Africa occasionally purchased palm oil for use in Europe, but palm kernel oil remained rare outside West Africa.
Palm kernel oil, similarly to coconut oil, is high in saturated fats and is more saturated than palm oil. Palm kernel oil is high in lauric acid which has been shown to raise blood cholesterol levels, both as LDL-C (cholesterol contained in low-density lipoprotein) and HDL-C (cholesterol contained in high-density lipoprotein).However, the raise in total cholesterol concentration is partly due to more HDL-C than LDL-C.Palm kernel oil does not contain cholesterol or trans fatty acids.
Palm kernel oil is commonly used in commercial cooking because it is lower in cost than other oils and remains stable at high cooking temperatures. The oil can also be stored longer than other vegetable oils.