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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Palm Fruit (For Palm Oil)

Palm Oil - Fruit (Elaeis) or called Kelapa Sawit in Malaysia and Indonesia, today is an important part of the horticulture industry of Southeast Asia; Malaysia and Indonesia are the two largest countries in the world producing this product. Although there are, concerns over the impact of tropical deforestation that converted into large-scale plantations palm oil.

Plant characteristics:
Palm Oil is one of the large palm families, as well as other type of palm oil palm has root fibers, pinnate compound leaves composed and colored green. Native plant oil palm can reach a height of 25m, the former plant stems covered with bark and the tree will last until the age of approximately 12 years. After reaching the age of the stem will flake shaped like palm trees so.

Separate male and female flowers are on one tree and (monoecious diclin), but have neighbors tree maturation time is different so rare self-pollinating. Thus more frequent cross-pollination between trees. Male flowers have a pointed shape, female flowers are larger and wider.

This tree is a tropical tree, growing in the lowlands between 0 and 500 asl. Palm trees need a steady rainfall, between 2000-2500 mm, but cannot grow in flood areas. Annual rainfall patterns affect flowering behavior.
There are two common types of palm oil is cultivated E. Oleifera and E. guineensis. E. guineensis has a very high production being E. oleifera plant has a low height.

Of course the current crop are ongoing to look for plants that bear fruit in the short lifespan, high yielding, pest-resistant and easy to maintain.

The Fruit:
Palm fruit has the color varies from black, purple, to red depending on the seed used. Fruit clustered in bunches that emerge from each sheath. Oil is produced by the fruit. Oil content increases as the fruit maturity. After passing through the mature phase, the content of free fatty acids (FFA, free fatty acid) will increase and the fruit will fall off by itself.

The fruit consists of three layers:
  • Eksoskarp, part reddish rind and slippery.
  • Mesoskarp, thick fruit fibers.
  • Endoskarp, protective shell nuclei.

Palm kernel (kernel, which is actually a seed) is the endosperm and embryo with high quality core oil content.

Economic potential:
Palm oil is used as feedstock edible oils, margarine, soaps, cosmetics, industrial steel, wire, radio, leather, and pharmaceutical industries. Palm oil can be used for such diverse nature of its designation because of its advantages is the high pressure oxidation resistant, capable of dissolving chemicals are not soluble by other solvents, have superimposed a high power and does not cause irritation to the body in the field of cosmetics.
Thus, of course the economic potential of this huge palm fruit, palm oil is now even proven to be converted into biodiesel.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom : Plantae
Family     : Arecaceae
Subfamily: Arecoideae
Tribe       : Cocoeae
Genus     : Elaeis
Species   : E. guineensis, E. Oleifera