Why Palm Oil Matters to Your Everyday: Must-know Facts & Innovation
Published On Fri, 29 Oct 2021
Many of us know that ‘good’ fats such as unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids can help us manage our moods and even control our weight. But did you know, fats play a huge role not only in helping us maintain a healthy lifestyle, but are also an important ingredient in many of our everyday necessities such as cosmetics and soaps?
We are talking about good sources of fats that can be found in avocados and palm oil! Oil palms are found all over Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and have even found their way into our daily lives!
Derivatives from palm oil are used in many everyday products that make up about 50% of supermarket shelves like bread, margarine, ice-cream, yoghurt, cosmetics, toothpaste, and shampoo, just to name a few.
Let’s learn more about palm oil and its multiple uses, shall we?
1. PALM OIL IN COSMETICS AND HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS
Did you know that palm oil derivatives are used in these items?
a. Deodorant: Palm oil helps to maintain fragrance to last longer than usual.
b. Lipstick: Palm oil helps to make the application of lipstick smoother and the colour to be more prominent. Lipsticks can also withstand high temperatures, preventing them from melting.
c. Moisturiser: Palm oil enhances moisturisers with anti-aging properties and provides extra moisture for softer, supple skin!
d. Sunscreens: Vitamin E found in palm oil offers protection against UV radiation.5. Shampoo and Body Soap: The foam from shampoos are created by palm oil derivatives! They are also effective for removing oil and dirt from your scalp. Clean fresh tresses, anyone?
2. PALM OIL IN FOOD
According to global palm oil corporation Musim Mas Group, vitamin E extracted from palm oil contains natural Tocotrienols, while palm kernel oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). In short, these two components are important for nourishing the brain, boosting our immune system, and providing other health benefits. Red palm oil also contains antioxidants called carotenoids, which your body can convert into vitamin A!
Palm oil derived emulsifiers used in bread improve loaf volume while retaining its softness, and when used in breakfast cereals, help maintain shelf life while keeping it crunchy, fresh, and tasty!
Here are some of Musim Mas Group’s upcoming innovations that will address the needs of the food industry:
a. Cocoa butter alternative and replacement of exotic fats: Development of a Cocoa Butter Equivalent Chocolate (CBE Choco) made exclusively from palm oil fractions, without the use of any exotic fats. This innovation will meet the criteria of trans-fat-free food products.
b. Trans fats elimination in coatings and fillings in chocolate confectionery: Goldivia®, a brand under Musim Mas, uses non-hydrogenated fats from palm oil which will help food industries meet product requirements and labeling regulations.
c. Bake-stable fillings for cookies and other fillings: Their emulsifier MASEMUL® EC 5101 meets the stringent requirements of bake-stable fillings, which will improve the quality of cookies and their fillings while still maintaining their soft consistency even after baking!
d. Dairy: Development of functional blend systems for regular and plant-based whipped topping systems. The combination of a specific emulsifier and stabiliser will help in providing stability, good whip-ability, and high overrun in whipped toppings for more volume!
3. INNOVATIONS IN THE PALM OIL INDUSTRY
As one of the world’s largest integrated palm oil corporations that provide palm oil products to multiple industries worldwide, Musim Mas Group has launched their first international S$10 million R&D and Innovation facility, Novel IDEAS Center located at the heart of Singapore Science Park in October 2019!
The facility focuses on developing new concepts and solutions for using sustainable palm-oil-based functional blends and specialty fats to stay ahead of emerging trends, address different industry needs, and bring new market opportunities closer to their partners.
“Singapore is an ideal location for our first international R&D and innovation facility, given its status as a regional innovation hub, strong logistics infrastructure, and a ready pool of talent and expertise in food technology,” said Sam Appalasami, Head of Functional Products and Novel IDEAS Center. “Novel IDEAS Center will act as an important link between Musim Mas and our customers to bring innovation closer to the marketplace. The work we do here will translate to state-of-the-art solutions for the food industry, such as healthier baked goods, dairy alternatives, tastier chocolate using cocoa butter alternatives, and more.”
“Musim Mas is one of the only few palm oil companies capable of extracting innovation value out of a facility like Novel IDEAS Center. We operate globally, and across the entire palm oil value chain, from plantations to downstream applications. This gives us unparalleled control over the supply, cost, and quality of raw materials to pour into our R&D and innovation efforts.”
The Analytical Lab also provides insights into the properties and behavior of food products that use Musim Mas specialty fats and functional blends.
By collecting data from relevant foods, Musim Mas is able to monitor product quality and safety, meet market requirements, and test the viability of new formulations and concepts.
Producing sustainable palm oil is key to preserving the livelihood of wildlife, communities living in these lands, and smallholder farmers who depend on palm oil production for their income. Palm oil supplies 40% of the world’s demand for vegetable oils using just under 6% of the land used for the production of vegetable oil. In comparison with other vegetable oils, you would need 4 to 10 times more land!
Musim Mas Group aspires to be a responsible leader in the evolution of the palm oil industry. To that end, the company works hard with its stakeholders to address their concerns such as greenhouse gas emissions, loss of biodiversity as well as labour and human rights. Musim Mas takes active steps to go beyond industry-recognised sustainability standards and continues to step up in response to critical industry issues in their quest to contribute to a more sustainable industry and equitable world.
In their commitment to responsible sourcing and sustainable production of palm oil through innovation, Musim Mas Group is on their journey to achieving a 100% traceable supply chain. Traceability in palm oil corporations allows companies to assess and reduce environmental issues, social risks and improve sustainability systems.
Since palm oil is widely used in up to 50% of packaged products on supermarket shelves, companies like Musim Mas Group have been pushing the boundaries of innovation and staying committed to their sustainability goals by producing sustainable palm oil for several products across the FMCG, beauty, sanitary, and biofuels industries.
What palm oil-based products do you currently use, consume and love?
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