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