Palm Oil vs Palm Kernel Oil: Difference and Comparison

Oils have become a major part of our lives, say it for preparing food or processing machines. Oil can be extracted from plants and trees too. One such tree we know is the “Oil palm tree”, From which we get our two oils here.

Key Takeaways

  1. Palm oil derives from the fruit’s mesocarp, while palm kernel oil comes from the kernel inside the fruit.
  2. Palm oil has a higher saturated fat content, contributing to its semi-solid state at room temperature.
  3. Palm kernel oil contains more lauric acid, making it popular in the cosmetics and personal care industries.

Palm Oil vs Palm Kernel Oil

Palm oil is a vegetable oil derived from the pulp of the oil palm tree’s fruit, it is primarily used in cooking. Palm kernel oil is a vegetable oil that is produced from the seed of the oil palm tree, it is used to make soap, cosmetics, and other items.

Palm Oil vs Palm Kernel Oil

Palm Oil is the oil drawn out by mashing the fruit of the oil palm. It contains a great amount of vitamin E, saturated and unsaturated fats.

Mainly used in cooking, cosmetics, and manufacturing. Credit for the reddish color of oil goes to its high amount of beta carotene.

Kernel Palm Oil is the oil drawn out from the seed of the oil palm. It is half solid at room temperature. The cost of this oil is low in comparison to other eatable oils, commercial cooking accounts for the major usage of kernel oil.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonPalm OilPalm Kernel Oil
SourcePalm oil is drawn out by mashing the fruit of the oil palm.Seed of oil palm is the source of kernel oil.
Usage incooking accounts for major usage of palm oil around the world.It is the cosmetics and industry which accounts for major usage of palm kernel oil
Saturation LevelIt is less saturated in comparison to Kernel palm oil.It is more saturated in comparison to palm oil.
Fractionationpalm oil can be fractioned into palm olien and stearin oil.palm kernel oil can be fractioned to form palm kernel stearin and olein.
Melting PointThe melting point for palm oil is 30 degrees to 40 degrees Celcius.The melting point for Kernel palm oil is 23 degrees to 30 degrees Celcius.

What is Palm Oil?

When the berry of oil palm is mashed, the oil extracted is called palm oil. The oil world trade journal says that of all plant oil produced, palm oil acquires thirty-three percent.

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It is used mainly as an edible oil in West and Central Africa. It was the British merchant company that started demanding this oil for industrial uses.

It contains less saturated fat content than kernel palm oil. Palm oil is a staple ingredient in many cuisines. The high presence of saturated fat can be the reason behind heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases.

Being rich in beta carotene, it is reddish and thus also referred to as red cooking oil. Palm oil is sometimes used as an agent behind the foam we see in our shampoo and detergents.

It is also demanded as a biofuel. Through transesterification, Methyl ester is created, which is then mixed with some other fuels to create blends of palm oil biodiesel.

Some might say applying palm oil to wounds may kill the bacteria. In the year 2006, Indonesia became the largest producer of palm oil. Apart from this, some major producer countries are Malaysia, Thailand, Nigeria, Columbia, Ecuador, etc.

What is Palm Kernel Oil?

Oil drawn out from the nuts of the oil palm tree is called kernel oil. It is an edible oil but is mainly used for cosmetics and commercial purposes.

Having a very low-cost value and long storage life, it is used in restaurants and hotels for cooking. In some countries, including this in the diets of children and pregnant women can ensure no deficiency of Vitamin A.

Palm oil and coconut oil are less in saturation. Thinking of storing this oil for direct regular use, one should opt for a jar rather than a narrow funnel oil bottle because of its half-solid nature, and oil melts at 23 degrees to 30 degrees Celsius.

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For the time being, kernel palm oil remained restricted to African countries, as it was palm oil which was in more demand by British merchants for industrial use.

This oil has more fats and lauric acid than palm oil and thus is more dangerous for a person’s cardiovascular health. Same as any other oil, it is first mined, after which refining is done. Kernel oil can be broken into palm kernel stearin and olein.

Main Differences Between Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil

  1. Two of them trace their origin to the oil palm plant, but we get palm oil by mashing the berry, whereas kernel palm oil is extracted from seeds or kernels.
  2. Palm kernel oil has more of it than simple palm oil on levels of saturated- nonsaturated fats and lauric acids.
  3. Both are semi-solid at room temperature, but the melting point for kernel palm oil is less than that of palm oil, 23-30 degrees Celcius of kernel palm oil and 30-40 degrees Celcius of palm oil.
  4. Palm oil is mainly used for cooking, whereas kernel palm oil is mainly demanded in the industrial and cosmetics sectors.
  5. Both oils are mined and refined. Palm oil is fractionated into palm stearin and olein, whereas palm kernel oil is fractionated to form palm kernel stearin and olein.
Difference Between Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil

Last Updated : 21 June, 2023

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