Palm kernel oil and palm oil are both derived from the oil palm tree, but they have different sources and properties. Palm kernel oil is obtained from the seed of the fruit, while palm oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit.
Palm kernel oil has a higher percentage of saturated fat than palm oil, which makes it more solid at room temperature. The oil also has a higher concentration of lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Palm oil, on the other hand, has more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats than palm kernel oil, which makes it more liquid at room temperature. Palm oil also has more beta carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, than palm kernel oil. Both oils have essential fatty acids and vitamins E and K, but in different proportions.
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Palm kernel oil and palm oil have different uses and health benefits. Kernel oil is mainly used for cosmetic and pharmaceutical purposes, as it moisturizes the skin and hair, boosts the immune system, lowers cholesterol levels, and enhances brain function.
Palm oil is widely used for cooking and food manufacturing, as it has a high smoke point, a neutral flavour, and a long shelf life. It also promotes heart, bone, and eye health, prevents free radical damage, and regulates hormones.
However, palm oil is also controversial due to its environmental impact, as its production contributes to deforestation, habitat loss, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Palm kernel oil and palm oil are both nutritious oils that can be part of a healthy diet, but they should be consumed in moderation and with awareness of their sources and effects. You can find both oils in many health food stores or online.