New Normal Era, Palm Oil More Sparkling
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in December 2019 to the present six months later, there has not been any sign of the spread of the Coronavirus being stopped or the status of the pandemic immediately revoked. Even every day the number of Covid-19 cases continues to increase. The Worldometers update in early June, recorded the number of confirmed cases of Corona worldwide reaching nearly 6.3 million cases with a death rate of more than 370 thousand.
Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of Emergencies Program at WHO, said that the Coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is not go away or disappear and its existence continues to coexist with human life. This virus will become another endemic disease in the community and the vaccines also does not fully guarantee that all people the earth can be free of the virus.
Dr. Mike Ryan’s statement as a signal to the world community must be prepared to coexist with the Coronavirus, which is a new way of life called the New Normal. A new lifestyle by implement the Covid-19 prevention protocol that is by using masks, maintaining sanitation and self-hygiene, keeping a distance and increasing the body’s immune system, as new habits every day.
To prevent Covid-19 infection, the world community must be more and maintain personal hygiene. More frequent hand washing, bathing, washing clothes to cutlery and household furniture, is a real action in maintaining personal hygiene and the environment. Maintaining cleanliness is not only applied privately at home but also in public places, cleaning service officers and the Sanitation Department will regularly spray disinfectants in public area which are believed to kill viruses.
Maintaining the body’s immunity by choosing and consuming nourishing and nutritious foods is also part of the lifestyle that is widely applied by people in the New Normal era in the future. This causes food ingredients and supplements that are useful to improving the body’s immune system will be increasingly needed.
The New Normal lifestyle in the midst of such a pandemic, makes palm oil more sparkling. First, the palm oil industry is able to produce biosurfactant products such as soap, washing soap, detergent, shampoo, hand wash, hand sanitizer and the like, which play a role in maintaining personal hygiene.
The superiority of palm oil as a biosurfactant raw material has been proven a long ago. Lauric oil contained in Palm Kernel Oil (Palm Kernel Oil) which is often used as a raw material in making soap, has the ability to produce a lot of foam effect and has broad spectrum microbial properties that are effective in killing bacteria and viruses but still maintaining skin health. Palm biosurfactant products are not only effective in killing viruses, but are also more environmentally friendly because they are biodegradable.
Second, the palm oil industry is also able to produce biodisinfectant/biopesticide products that can be used to maintain environmental sanitation in homes, offices and other public areas. Palm biodisinfectant that made from palm shells, which is a industry waste of the palm oil processing. So that the production of biodisinfectant palm shell is very environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Third, oil palm plantations are the biggest factory of producing vitamin A (beta carotene) and Vitamin E (tocopherol) among all plants in the world. From Indonesia’s palm oil production of around 50 million tons per year, it can produce around 25 thousand tons of vitamin A and 30 thousand tons of vitamin E.
Fourth, palm oil as food is apparently not ordinary oily food. Inside there is a very important fatty acid that is palmitic fatty acid to maintain lung function. Palm oil is the largest vegetable oil containing palmitic acid so it is estimated that in the New Normal era there will be an increase in palm oil consumption.
Imagine there are 6 billion people in the world who will live in New Normal. Every day the world community will buy more soap, hand sanitizers and detergents, use biodisinfectant and will more consume palm oil which rich of vitamins A, E and palmitic acid, as effort to prevent Covid-19 This shows that the demand for palm oil as a raw material for biosurfkatan, biodisinfectant products and sources of vitamins, will increase.
This trend has begun to emerge during the current Covid-19 pandemic. According to BPS’s data, the volume of Indonesia’s oleochemical (biosurfactant) exports to China, the European Union, India and the United States during January-March 2020 increased 54 percent over the same period last year. The biosurfactant exports were the only group of palm products that increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the world’s largest producer of palm oil, Indonesia has succeeded in becoming the king of world palm oil so far, and in the future has a great opportunity to become the king of biosurfactants, the king of biodisinfectants and the world’s king of vitamins A and E. To support this vision, it should be directed to research, innovation, education, promotion and investment in the palm oil industry.
Dr. Tungkot Sipayung,
Economic and Agribussiness Observer, Excecutive Director of Palm Oil Agribisiness Strategic Policy Institute ( PASPI)
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