Palm Oil Plantation as the “Factory” of Vitamin A and E

  • English
  • Bahasa Indonesia

Vitamins are essentially necessary for the human body. The body needs various vitamins for the body’s metabolic processes and strengthen the body’s vitality. Vitamin A for example is needed for the eyes health, anti-oxidants, anti-cancer and others; while vitamin E is needed for immunity, skin health, anti-oxidants / anti-cancer and others.

Although vitamins are very vital for the human body, vitamins cannot be produced in the human body itself, so they must be provided through food. Only plants have the ability to make vitamins.

Palm oil plants are one of the plants that are able to make various vitamins, especially vitamin A and E. For each of the same volume, palm oil turns out to contain 15 times more vitamin A compared to the content of vitamin A in carrots. Even compared to the content of vitamin A found in bananas, the vitamin A in palm oil is almost 100 times greater.

 

Not only vitamin A, palm oil also contains vitamin E which is quite high, even the highest compared to other vegetable oils including animal fats. Olive oil which is often said to be rich in vitamin E (so it is considered a medicine) is still much lower in vitamin E compared to palm oil. Olive oil only contains vitamin E of 51 ppm, while the vitamin E content of palm oil is much higher at 1172 ppm. Similarly, vitamin E content in other vegetable oils such as soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, are less than the one in palm oil.

With the given fact, then palm cooking oil and margarine that we consume everyday is not just cooking oil, but cooking oil with vitamins. Because palm oil is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin E, palm oil is widely used for the ingredients of skin care, cosmetics, and other beauty products.

Palm oil is also a source of vitamin A and vitamin E in the pharmaceutical industry. The attempts to harvest vitamins A and E from palm oil have long been developed by the pharmaceutical industries through an extraction process which is then produced in the form of capsules of vitamins A and E. Not only used by humans, vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene) is also widely used for livestock like broilers and laying hens. The color of eggs and meat that is bright yellow and fresh is due to sufficient amount of beta carotene in the chicken feed.

Thus, oil palm plantations are not only ordinary vegetable oil producers, but also biological “factory” of vitamins, especially for vitamins A and E. Palm oil plantation is not only the most efficient vegetable oil producer in the world, it is also the most efficient producer of vitamins A and E. One day, besides being the world’s largest palm oil producer, Indonesia will also be a potential major exporter of vitamins A and E. How fortunate Indonesia for having the largest oil palm plantation in the world.

Vitamin sangat diperlukan bagi tubuh manusia. Tubuh memerlukan berbagai viamin untuk proses metabolisme tubuh dan memperkuat vitalitas tubuh. Vitamin A misalnya diperlukan untuk kesehatan mata, anti oksidan, anti kanker dan lain-lain. Sementara vitamin E diperlukan untuk kekebalan tubuh, kesehatan kulit, anti oksidan/anti kanker dan lain-lain.

 

Meskipun vitamin sangat vital bagi tubuh manusia, vitamin tidak bisa dibentuk dalam tubuh manusia, sehingga harus disediakan melalui makanan. Hanya tumbuhan yang memiliki kemampuan untuk membuat vitamin.

Tanaman kelapa sawit merupakan salah satu tanaman yang mampu membuat berbagai vitamin khususnya vitamin A dan E. Untuk setiap volume yang sama, minyak sawit ternyata mengandung vitamin A sebanyak 15 kali dari kandungan vitamin A wortel. Bahkan dibandingkan dengan kandungan vitamin A yang terdapat pada pisang, kandungan vitamin A minyak sawit hampir 100 kali lipat lebih besar.

 

Selain vitamin A, minyak sawit juga mengandung vitamin E yang cukup tinggi dan tertinggi dibandingkan dengan minyak nabati lain termasuk lemak hewan.  Minyak zaitun yang sering dinilai mengandung vitamin E tinggi (sehingga dianggap obat) masih jauh lebih rendah dari kandungan vitamin E minyak sawit. Minyak zaitun hanya mengandung vitamin E sebesar 51 ppm, sementara kandungan vitamin E minyak sawit  jauh lebih tinggi yakni 1172 ppm.  Demikian juga minyak nabati lain seperti minyak kedelai, minyak jagung, minyak kacang tanah, kandungan vitamin E-nya lebih sedikit dibandingkan dengan minyak sawit.

Jika demikian, maka minyak goreng sawit, mentega yang sehari-hari kita konsumsi bukan hanya sekedar minyak goreng saja, melainkan minyak goreng bervitamin. Karena minyak sawit mengandung kedua vitamin yang tinggi, makanya minyak sawit banyak digunakan untuk bahan perawatan kulit (skin care) maupun bahan-bahan kosmetik dan kecantikan.

Minyak sawit juga menjadi sumber bahan vitamin A dan vitamin E pada industri farmasi. Upaya untuk memanen vitamin A dan E dari minyak sawit sudah lama dikembangkan oleh industri-industri farmasi melalui proses ekstraksi yang kemudian diproduksi dalam bentuk kapsul-kapsul vitamin A dan E.  Selain untuk manusia, vitamin A (bentuk beta karoten) juga banyak digunakan untuk peternakan seperti ayam pedaging dan ayam petelur. Warna telur maupun daging yang berwarna kuning cerah dan segar adalah karena beta karoten yang cukup dalam pakan ayam.

Dengan demikian kebun sawit bukan hanya penghasil minyak nabati biasa, melainkan juga “pabrik” biologis vitamin khususnya vitamin A dan E. Kebun sawit juga tidak hanya penghasil minyak nabati paling efisien di dunia, ternyata juga penghasil vitamin A dan E yang paling efisien. Suatu saat selain produsen minyak sawit tebesar dunia, Indonesia juga ternyata berpotensi menjadi eksportir besar vitamin A dan E. Betapa beruntungnya Indonesia memiliki perkebunan sawit terluas di dunia.

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on xing
Share on email

You may also like these articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *