Palm Oil Tree produces functionally unisexual male and female inflorescences in an alternating cycle on the same plant. Some of palm oil tree have single-sex male and female plants exist (abnormal).
A mature palm will alternate between male and female inflorescence production during its lifetime; however, the proportion of time spent in each phase will vary considerably depending on both environmental and genetic factors.
The sex ratio is normally defined as the ratio of female to total inflorescences in a given group of palms. In regions with high and regular rainfall (e.g. Malaysia and Indonesia), oil palm sex ratios tend to consistent throughout the year, in contrast to areas experiencing a marked dry season such as in West Africa, where the sex ratio undergoes extensive fluctuations.
The period of lowest sex ratio (high male inflorescence production) occurs during the rainy season and speculated that this character is an adaptation against the reduction in airborne pollen density caused by high atmospheric humidity.
Oil Palm Tree Pollination
Oil palms are both wind and insect pollinated. Numerous species are involved in the pollination of oil palms, but the main pollinating agents are from weevils/beetle (Elaeidobius kamerunicus).
The oil palm industry is still early stage; these weevils were imported from Cameroon and introduced in the local plantation sector starting in 1981.
These weevils play an important role in the process of pollination of oil palm trees which previously had to be done by human labour. Weevils is introduce due to its robustness in long rainy seasons, host-specificity to oil palm, and high pollen-carrying capacity
Weevils are attracted by the strong fennel-like fragrance released by the male inflorescence at anthesis. Female inflorescences have the same aniseed scent as males, but weevils apparently visit them only by accident in the search for male inflorescences
In Africa, Elaeidobius spp. account for 99% of oil palm pollination, with Elaeidobius kamerunicus and E. plagiatus being the most efficient species.
The introduction of these weevils has stimulated the country’s oil palm production while saving costs. From 1982 to 2015, the savings were estimated at around USD 10 billion dollars.
1) Helene Adam: Environmental regulation of sex determination in oil palm: Current knowledge and insights from other species
3) Ntsomboh-Ntsefong Godswill, Youmbi Emmanuel, in Breeding Oilseed Crops for Sustainable Production, 2016
Palm oil is, at its broadest definition, is vegetable oil, and more specifically a fruit oil. As such, like all vegetable oils, it has no cholesterol. (This is present only in oils from animal origin.) Moreover, palm oil has a rather unique chemical profile in that it possesses a near-equal balance of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Unlike other tropical oils, whose saturated fatty acids can comprise over 90% of the oil, palm oil has only 50% saturated fatty acids, and this level is balanced with 50% unsaturated fatty acids. Owing to this composition, clinical studies have shown that palm oil tends to be “net neutral” in terms of the effect on a person’s cholesterol levels.
Palm oil is a rich source of natural vitamin E, both tocopherols and tocotrienols, having very potent antioxidant properties. In fact, among the commercially available refined vegetable oils, palm oil has the highest content of natural Vitamin E tocotrienols. People start aware of the dangers of trans-fatty acids (TFAs) – palm oil is TFA-free. With palm oil’s unique natural semi-solid composition, fractionation during processing results in a liquid component (palm olein) and a more solid component (palm stearin). With some other oils, TFAs are formed during hydrogenation, a process that basically converts naturally liquid oil into a solid state.
Canola oil is derived from rapeseed, a flowering plant, and contains a good amount of monounsaturated fats and a decent amount of polyunsaturated fats. Rapeseed is naturally high in potentially toxic compounds like erucic acid, which made it unsafe to consume until recently. In the 1970s, scientists in Canada crossbred a version of the crop to have lower amounts of erucic acid. This strain was dubbed canola—a portmanteau of Canada, oil, and low acid.
Of all vegetable oils, canola oil tends to have the least amount of saturated fats. It has a high smoke point, which means it can be helpful for high-heat cooking. Canola oil tends to be highly processed, which means fewer nutrients overall. “Cold-pressed” or unprocessed canola oil is available, but it can be difficult to find. Canola oil contains Trans-fat that 1.8 g per 100g.
The term “vegetable oil” is used to refer to any oil that comes from plant sources, and the healthfulness of a vegetable oil depends on its source and what it’s used for. Most vegetable oils on the market are a blend of canola, corn, soybean, safflower, palm and sunflower oils. Vegetable oils are refined and processed, which means they not only lack flavor, but also nutrients. It’s called ‘vegetable’ so that the manufacturers can substitute whatever commodity oil they want—soy, corn, cottonseed, canola—without having to print a new label.
Debczak, M. (2022, April 21). Canola oil vs. vegetable oil: What’s the difference? Mental Floss. Retrieved May 10, 2022, from https://www.mentalfloss.com/posts/canola-vs-vegetable-oil-what-is-difference
Palm Oil: The world’s Best edible oil? Malaysian Palm Oil Council. (2012, May 30). Retrieved May 10, 2022, from https://mpoc.org.my/palm-oil-the-worlds-best-edible-oil/
What is wetland?
Wetlands are areas where water covers the land or is present either at or near the surface of the land all year or for varying periods of time during the year, including during the growing season.
Wetlands exist in every country in the world and in every climatic zone, from the polar regions to the tropics, and from high altitudes to dry regions.
Wetlands are usually overlooked as a solution to climate change. Healthy wetlands store huge amounts of carbon and water, but when destroyed it produces carbon three times faster than forests.
List of wetlands:
- Rivers and deltas
- Mangrove forests
- Wetlands in dry regions
- High altitude wetlands
- Arctic wetlands
As One of Global Warming Solution
Wetlands are important natural assets, capable of taking atmosphere carbon and limiting subsequent carbon loss to facilitate long-term storage. They can be deliberately managed to provide a natural solution to mitigate climate change, as well as to help offset direct losses of wetlands from various land-use changes and natural drivers.
Like all plants, wetland plants take up carbon from the air in the form of carbon dioxide and store that carbon in plant biomass. Storage of carbon in tree biomass can occur for many years but is often restricted to annual cycles for non-woody (herbaceous) plants. However, much of the woody and herbaceous plant carbon is also stored belowground within complex and dense roots.
Very similar to leaves or herbaceous plant biomass, roots are produced, die, and are replaced by new roots over short periods of time. In non-wetland ecosystems, roots that die often decompose quickly, because they are exposed to readily available oxygen, and during that process, much of the carbon is released back into the air as carbon dioxide.
However, because wetland soils are wet, oxygen is not readily available to facilitate decomposition. Roots that die decompose slowly while new roots continue to be produced, which leads to the accumulation of organic matter in the soil. Carbon makes up approximately 50 percent of this organic matter.
Threats to Wetlands
Despite the importance of wetlands, the last century has witnessed their continued loss and degradation. Wetland areas have been reduced through reclamation, drainage and conversion or loss to other land uses. Significant portions have been seriously degraded or are at imminent risk. The loss and degradation of wetlands continues unabated.
- Main Treats to wetland:
- Conversion to Agriculture use
- Industry and Urbanization
- Changes to wetland hydrology.
Ken W. Krauss, Z. Z. and C. L. S. (2022, February 23). Managing wetlands to improve carbon sequestration. Eos. Retrieved April 25, 2022, from https://eos.org/editors-vox/managing-wetlands-to-improve-carbon-sequestration
Guardian News and Media. (2015, July 20). Swamp Power: How the world’s wetlands can help stop climate change. The Guardian. Retrieved April 25, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/20/swamp-power-how-the-worlds-wetlands-can-help-stop-climate-change
Palm oil is considered as one of the most highly produced and commercialized product in Malaysia. Malaysia is the second most palm oil producing country in Southeast Asia with a production of 21,000,000 metric tons of crude oil. This accounts just second to Indonesia that produces 36,000,000 metric tons of palm oil.
Palm oil has a very high demand due to the high output per hectare in comparison with other vegetable oil. Palm oil has many uses including food products, cosmetics, toiletries and biodiesel. The versatility of palm oil is just one of the many reasons that contribute to the high demand of crude palm oil. The palm oil industry is currently soaring high with high prices offered for the crude palm oil.
The supply and demand of palm oil plays an important role in affecting the prices of this product. Since oil palm trees are mostly found in the Southeast Asia, in the countries of Indonesia and Malaysia, the changing weathers in these countries affect the prices. During the dry seasons, there is relatively low production of oil palm seeds, leading to low production of palm oil. Therefore, the prices of palm oil increases during this period. Other than that, China and India are the main importers of palm oil. The increasing population growth in these countries contribute to the high demands of palm oil, and therefore, resulting in higher prices.
Oil palm trees basically thrive in humid conditions. Temperature ranges from 22°C to 24°C (minimum) and 20°C to 33°C (maximum) are the best for the optimal growth of oil palm trees. These trees require at least 5 to 6 hours of bright sunshine daily with 2500 to 4000 mm of rainfall per year. Therefore, Southeast Asia is the most suitable places for the growth of oil palm as long hours of sunlight and adequate rainfall is available throughout the year.
Oil palm trees can grow on wide varieties of soil types. However, the best type of soil for the growth of oil palm trees is alluvial soils which are rich in organic matter. Highly saline, alkaline, sandy and water stagnation soils should be avoided in order for the healthy growth of oil palm trees.
Oil palm trees grow from the seeds. Seeds used for cultivation are picked from fruits using a depericarper. The seeds are then heated for 75 days at 40°C and then soaked in running water for 4 to 5 days to allow them to cool down. The seeds then start germinating within 10 to 12 days and are transferred to polybags filled with top soil, sand and well rotten manure. Regular watering and mulching is needed for the proper growth of the seeds. NPK fertilizer is used on the seeds before being transferred to the field. The seeds are then planted with space. The space should be left empty with regular weeding and cleaning for at least 3 years. Once the trees grow in the 3 years period, shade loving plants such as flowers, vegetables, chillies, ginger and pineapples can be planted around the trees.
The Malaysia palm oil mill sector has developed successfully in parallel with development of the oil palm plantation sector. In 1990, there were only 261 mill is operation with total 42.8 Million tonnes fresh fruit bunches (FFB). The number increased by 73.18% to 452 mill with a FFB 115.56 Million tonnes in 2020. The increase in oil palm area is one of the factors that contributed to the increase in palm oil mill. With that period the oil palm planted area increase 2.03 Million Hectares (Ha) in 1990 to 5.86 million Ha in 2020.
|Malaysia||Mill||Process FFB Capacity|
FFB will send to CPO will grading: FFB Grading 90% of OER achievement depend on FFB quality
Quality FFB: Ripe bunches with yellowish and reddish outer layer and its mesocarp are yellow coloured. This bunch has at least ten (10) loose sockets and more than fifty percent (50%) fruits were still attached to the bunch during inspection. Fruit bunches and loose fruits should be sent to the mill within 24 hours after harvest.
Product: OIL & KERNEL
- OER – 20%
- KER – 6.25%
Palm oil mill main stations:
|No||Main section||Main machine|
|1||Fresh palm fruit bunch reception section||Loading ramp|
|2||Sterilization section||Sterilization tank|
|3||Threshing section||Threshing Machine Platform|
|4||Digesting & Pressingsection||Digester & Screw presser|
|6||Fiber separation section||Polishing drun|
|7||Palm kernel recovery section||(1)Palm nut storage tank (2)Polishing drum (3)Nut grading screen (4) Palm nut Ripple mill (5)Separating column system (6)hydro cyclone equipment (7)Palm kernel drying bunker (8)Dry Palm kernel final storage warehouse|
|9||Engine room||Diesel generator|
|12||Effluent Treatment Plant|
- Raw material reception: as for the first step of palm oil mill process, collecting the FFB and convey by trucks, then pour the fluster into the discharge door after weighed.
- Sterilization: FFB is air-tight sterilized in sterilizer of palm oil mill process, the purpose is to prevent enzymes broken down, avoiding FFA content in oil further increase.
- Threshing: the purpose of threshing in the palm oil mill process is to separate the palm fruit from the FFB. The drum-type thresher is the usual machine to separate the fruit.
- Digesting and pressing: the purpose of digesting in the palm oil mill process is to separate the pulp and nut and crush the palm pulp. Then it is sent to continuous screw press. After pressing of palm oil mill process, oil palm fruit is divided into two parts: the mixture of oil, water, and solid impurities, and the press cake (fiber and nut).
- Oil clarification: as for the oil clarification of the palm oil mill process, oil is clarified by the vibrate screen.
- Kernel recovery: as for the last step of palm oil mill process, The separated fiber material is sent to the boiler room as fuel; the separated kernel is transported to kernel warehouse by pneumatic conveying system for temporary storage.
https://www.palmoilextractionmachine.com/FAQ/palm_oil_mill_process_flow_diagram_742.html http://pdas.mpob.gov.my/pdf/PPQSPPKP.pdf https://www.asianagri.com/images/articles/bisnis-kami/crude-palm-oil-milling-process-01.jpg https://bepi.mpob.gov.my/index.php/en/production/production-2020/production-of-crude-oil-palm-2020 https://bepi.mpob.gov.my/index.php/en/sectoral-status/sectoral-status-2021/number-a-capacities-of-palm-oil- sectors-2021 http://palmoilis.mpob.gov.my/publications/OPIEJ/opiejv14n1-azman.pdf https://www.mjmpom.com/ffb-grading-guideline/
The oil palm trees, which are a very common sight nowadays, were only introduced in Malaysia, then Malaya, in the early 1870’s by the British. Originating from West Africa, this tree was first planted as an ornamental plant. It wasn’t until the year 1917 when the official commercial planting took place. In 1917, oil palm trees were planted for commercial use at the Tennamaran Estate in Selangor. This was the very first step to the plantation that we now see very abundantly.
During the early 1960s, the government of Malaysia introduced to reduce the economic dependence on rubber and tin under the agricultural diversification programme. This programme urged the producers to diversity their products and produce more of other products apart from tin and rubber. During this period, the plantation for oil palm increased drastically under the government’s programme. In the later 1960s, there were many farmers and smallholders who wanted to plant oil palm but were landless. The government then introduced land settlement schemes for these farmers and smallholders in order to encourage the plantation of oil palm while helping to eradicate poverty for the farmers and smallholders.
The plantations soon began to expand to what we could see today, making palm oil one of the biggest export products of Malaysia. Today, 4.49 million hectares of Malaysian land is used for palm oil cultivation. Malaysia produces approximately 17.73 million tonnes of palm oil and 2.13 tonnes of palm kernel oil. Being one of the largest industries in Malaysia, the oil palm plantation, cultivation and palm oil as well as palm kernel oil accounts for the employment of an estimated of one million people around our country.
Oil palm seeds, though they all look alike from the outside, actually consist of different types of varieties. These seeds have differences in sizes. Some of the fruit types are bigger than the others. Also, the pulp, which is the oily part of the seed, is not the same size while some kernels do not have shells at all. These differences among the varieties are based on the type of seeds.
There are generally three types of oil palm seeds commonly found; dura palms, pisifera palms and tenera palms.
- dura palms have kernels with a thick shell.
- pisifera palms have kernels with no shell.
- tenera palms have kernels with a thin shell.
In order to get a high palm oil yield, the fruits should possess a lot of pulp, with a shell that is not too thick and a big kernel. Therefore, researchers have developed a cross between dura palm and pisifera palm in order to produce fruits that have lots of pulp, thin shells and large kernels. The cross between these two is known as tenera palm. In order to produce the tenera palm variety, the female flowers from the dura palm are fertilized with the pollen from pisifera palm. The fertilized flowers then turn into fruits of the tenera variety. The tenera palms are most commercially used worldwide due to their high oil yields.
Oil palm is one of the most beneficial cultivation products that could be found in Malaysia and other palm oil producing countries. Without noticing much, oil palm actually do play important roles in our lives. The palm oil industry produces edible oil from oil palm fruits. The oil is a good choice for cooking as it maintains its properties even under high temperatures during cooking. This enhances the taste of food while the creaminess and smoothness of the oil makes an excellent cooking ingredient.
Other than edible oil, palm oil is also used in daily personal care items such as bathing soaps, detergents and many other cleaning and beauty products.
Deforestation takes place at high rates for the plantation of oil palm trees. In order to create lands for the cultivation of oil palm, many acres of land are cleared daily around the country. At first, this leads to air pollution and animals lose their habitats. However, as the oil palm trees grow larger, the balance of the ecosystem can be returned. Animals take shelter in the plantations while the carbon cycle is balanced by the growing oil palm trees.
Other than that, millions of job opportunities are created by the oil palm industry. In Malaysia, it is estimated that around a total of one million jobs originate from this industry. These jobs include smallholder farmers, fruits pickers, tree planters, large companies, the import and export companies and various other jobs.