According to nutritionists, palm oil contains a stable proportion of saturated fatty acid and unsaturated fatty acid (Table). The fatty acid composition of palm oil is saturated fatty acid that consists of 44 percent palmitic fatty acid, 5 percent stearic fatty acid and monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) that consists of 10 percent linoleic fatty acid and 0.4 percent alpha linolenic fatty acid. In fact, as a whole palm oil has the behavioral characteristics of monounsaturated oils (United States Department of Agriculture, 1979; Cottrell, 1991; Small, 1991; Choudhury et al., 1995; Kritchevsky et al., 2000; Ong and Goh, 2002; FAO, 2010; Hariyadi, 2010; GiriwonodanAndarwulan, 2016).
Table: The composition of fatty acid in palm oil
|Fatty acid||% Total fatty acid|
|Lauric acid (C12:0)||0.1-1.0||0.2|
|Myristic acid (C14:0)||0.9 0 1.5||1.1|
|Palmitic acid (C16:0)||41.8-45.8||44.0|
|Palmitoleic acid (C16:1)||0.1-0.3||0.1|
|Stearic acid (C18:0)||4.2-5.1||4.5|
|Oleic acid (C18:1)||37.3-40.8||39.2|
|Linoleic acid (C18:2)||9.1-11.0||10.1|
|Linolenic acid (C18:3)||0.0-0.6||0.4|
|Arakidonic acid (C20:0)||0.2-0.7||0.4|
Source: Hariyadi (2010)
The illustration above shows that palm oil has a stable composition of saturated fatty acid and unsaturated fatty acid. Palm oil is not categorized as vegetable oil with the behavioral characteristics of saturated fatty acid. Instead, as a whole, it has the behavior of monounsaturated oils.