Sunday, May 8, 2016

Palm oil processing

The oil palm is a native of West Africa. During ancient time, Egyptian wheels were lubricated with axle grease consisting of fat and lime. Earthen vessels predating the First Dynasty (2920-2770 BC) have been found which contained several pounds of oxidized palm oil.

From the Egyptians and Phoenicians, knowledge of how to apply fats and oils spread to the Hebrews and thence to the Greeks. The Hebrews had oil mills powered by tread that were usually operated by prisoners.

Palm oil and other palm products did not become widely known in Europe until the European involvement in slave trade, and by the 16th century it was known as medicine in Europe.

The invention of the hydrogenation process for oils and fats in 1902 created the possibility of Western employment of palm products as, for example, in the making of margarine.

Plantation production in Africa increase supplies after 1920, This helped meet industry demand as the use of palm oil in manufacture expanded beyond soaps and lubricants to include glycerin, a by-product of palm oil processing for the use in munitions manufacture during World War and later in the making of margarine.

Today palm oil is the second most produced oil in the world – the first being soybean oil.
Palm oil processing

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