Difference Between Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil

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.

Palm Oil vs Palm Kernel Oil

The main difference between Palm Oil and Palm Kernel oil is that of their origin, though both oils come from Oil Palm, fruit mash is the source of palm oil whereas, in the second case, we get it from the seed, palm oil is fractionated into palm stearin and olein, whereas palm kernel oil is fractionated to form palm kernel stearin and olein.

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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 oil goes to the high amount of beta carotene in it.

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

Comparison Table Between Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil

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. Oil world trade journal says, Out of all plant oil produced, palm oil acquires thirty-three percent. It is used mainly as edible oil, in the 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 generally 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 bacterias. 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 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, oil melts at 23 degrees to 30 degrees Celsius.

For a 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 the cardiovascular health of a person. 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 from the oil palm plant but, we get palm oil by mashing the berry whereas kernel palm oil is extracted from seeds or kernels.
  2. On levels of saturated- nonsaturated fats, and lauric acids, Palm kernel oil have more of it than simple palm oil.
  3. Both are semi-solid at room temperature, but a melting point for kernel palm oil is less than that of palm oil, that is 23-30 degrees Celcius of kernel palm oil and 30-40 degrees Celcius of palm oil.
  4. Palm oil is mainly used for cooking purposes, whereas kernel palm oil is majorly demanded in the industrial sector and cosmetics purposes.
  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.


Derived from the same plant, yet is very different. one from the fruit pulp and the other from seed. Palm oil and kernel palm oil are the two most used oils today. say it in the field of cooking, Industries, cosmetics, or biofuel. These two oils were recognized from times of colonial rule. from the Industrial Revolution to now, it has been in demand.

You may have never paid attention to the ingredients of your cosmetics or shampoo, it is palm oil that makes it greasy and soft. You may want to limit your fried food diet. According to the World health organization, regular consumption of Fatty acids may cause your heart to fail, and some studies say palm oil has enough saturated and unsaturated fats to trigger those cardiovascular diseases.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378382021002745
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09709274.2009.11906182
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