Certified Organic Virgin Red Palm Oil
Virgin Red Palm Oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis)
which originated in West Africa and was later introduced to Latin America and
South East Asia in the 15th and 19th centuries respectively. Although Virgin
Red Palm Oil has been consumed in Africa as a safe and nutritious cooking oil
for thousands of years, westerners are only now beginning to realise its extensive
benefits. Virgin Red Palm Oil is an unrefined oil which retains the oil palm
fruits natural orangey red colour. The beautiful red hue of this oil is a result
of the extremely high level of carotenes. The benefits of this oil are numerous
and have been the subject of much rigorous research over the last 10 years.
Of particular interest to scientists are the beneficial properties of palm
oil resulting from the oils unique fat structure and extremely rich content
of vitamin E and A antioxidants. Links provided on this page are predominantly
sourced from scientific journal articles found in the United States National
Library of Medicine.
Virgin Red Palm Oil has one of the highest known bioavailable (readily absorbed)
antioxidant content found in vegetable sources.
1 These natural antioxidants
scavenge free radicals (highly destructive molecules that can cause extensive
damage to the body and can lead to a range of pathological conditions).
The Healthy Eating Club (HEC) is a health information source maintained by nutrition
experts from Monash University. HEC is also accredited by the Australian Government
Healthinsite as a reliable source of health information. Below
is a link to a HEC fact sheet that describes some of the beneficial characteristics
of antioxidant activity.
Antioxidants HEC Fact
The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO) also
have information regarding research on the possible benefits of natural antioxidants.
Antioxidants in Virgin Red Palm Oil
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Provitamin A Carotenoids
According to the United Nations University Press Food
and Nutrition Bulletin (1994), Virgin Red Palm Oil is nature’s richest
source of bioavailable carotenoids in terms of retinol (provitamin A) equivalent.
2 Vitamin A is produced
in the body from beta carotene and other carotenoids; it can also be consumed
in a preformed state known as retinol. Carotenoids are found in vegetables
and fruits whilst retinol is found in animal by-products such as cheese, cream,
eggs and fish oils. Carotenoids are a group of over 700 compounds. It is these
compounds that produce the red, yellow and orange colours found in many fruits
and vegetables. It is widely accepted that carrots and tomatoes are a good
source of carotenoids. However, Virgin Red Palm Oil contains over 15 x more
carotenoids than carrots and 300 x more than tomatoes, for the same given quantity.
It is this rich supply of carotenoids that gives Virgin Red Palm Oil its striking
orange red colour and makes it a good source of provitamin A.
A single tablespoon of Virgin Red Palm Oil contains
1,200 µg of Vitamin
A in the form of provitamin A carotenoids. The HEC webpage on Provitamin
A states that unlike retinol (the preformed Vitamin A found in animal by-products)
carotenes are not toxic in large doses and have no recommended daily intake
level. Provitamin A carotenoids are actually the safest form of vitamin A
to consume, because your body only converts as much carotene to vitamin A
as it requires. The HEC website contains further information on beta carotene
Provitamin A (HEC)
Palm Oil Carotenoids (United Nations University Press)
Research on Provitamin A Carotenoids in Red Palm Oil
Zeba A N, et al. (2006). Nutrition Journal, Vol. 5, pp. 17.
C.S., et al. (2002). Asia Pacific Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. Vol.
11 Oct, pp. 438-442.
(1994). Food and Nutrition Bulletin. Vol. 15 , Number 2, June.
M S et al. (2003). Food And Nutrition Bulletin Jun; Vol. 24 (2), pp.
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Virgin Red Palm Oil is an extremely rich source of
Vitamin E. Scrimshaw, N. (2005) and Rimbach et al (2002) describe various
examples where research has revealed that Vitamin E has promising antioxidant
properties.4-5 Vitamin E
is a general term used for all tocopherols and their derivatives. There are
eight different forms of Vitamin E found in nature. These include alpha, beta,
gamma, and delta-tocopherols and alpha, beta, gamma and delta-tocotrienols. With
the exception of beta tocopherol, Virgin Red Palm Oil contains all of the
Vitamin E derivatives. 6
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According to Ohio State University Medical Center, Virgin Red Palm Oil is
the richest known source of tocotrienols.7 Until recently Alpha-tocopherols
have been considered to be the most potent form of Vitamin E. However, currently
research is discovering the powerful and unique properties of tocotrienols.
Research on Tocotrienols
Schaffer, S et
al. (2005). The Journal of Nutrition. February 1, 135(2): 151
N et al. (1997). The Journal of Nutrition. Mar; 127(3).
K et al. (1999). Nutrition and Cancer, 33 : pp
: 26 – 32.
JK et al. (2006) Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.
Jul 28; Vol. 346 (2), pp. 447-53.
V et al. (2006). Free Radical Research, July 2006; 40(7): 763-771.
C K et al. (2006). Life Sciences. Mar 27;78(18):2088-98.
C K. (2004). Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Dec;1031:127-42.
AC. (1995). Lipids. Dec; Vol. 30 (12), pp. 1179-83.
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Whilst the carotene (vitamin A) and tocopherol (vitamin E) phytonutrient levels
are extremely high in Red Palm Oil, it also contains significant amounts of
lycopene and coenzyme Q10.
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Dietary Source of Energy
As is widely understood, fats provide a form of concentrated calories, which
are used as an excellent source of energy during moderate to vigorous exercise.
Palm oil contains a composition that is uniquely balanced between saturated
and unsaturated fatty acids, including 44% palmitic acid (saturated fatty acid),
the same saturated fatty acid that is most abundant in our bodies and throughout
nature, 40% oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acid), the predominant fatty
acid found in olive oil and the remainder fat content is mainly made up of
omega 6 linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acid). As a result, palm oil provides
a balanced source of fatty acids. 4
In the past palm oil has been unfairly associated with
heart disease due to it’s moderate saturated fat content. However,
this view has been superseded by recent research on the metabolism of palmitic
acid, the saturated fatty
acid found in Virgin Red Palm Oil. In the past, the general perception portrayed
by health experts is that all saturated fat should be avoided. The unfortunate
result of authorities failing to differentiate between which types of saturated
fats were detrimental led to the avoidance of all types of saturated fats.
The preferred alternatives at the time were hydrogenated and polyunsaturated
vegetable oils which contained trans fatty acids. Hydrogenated products include
margarine, shortenings and other processed foods. Trans fats have been directly
correlated to a host of diseases, currently the American Heart Association
(AHA) recommends that less than 1% of energy intake should be in the form of
trans fatty acids. 11
In a recent address delivered to a nutritional congress in Durban, Professor
Nevin Scrimshaw, President of the International Nutrition Foundation (INF)
and Palm Oil advocate outlined the unique attributes of Red Palm Oil. Professor
Scrimshaw explained why Palm Oil is not atherogenic (does not cause hardening
of the arteries) despite its 40% of palmitic acids (saturated fatty acids).
Professor Scrimshaw also went on to explain how the fatty acid structure of
palmitic acid contained within palm oil is uniquely different from that found
in animal fats and by products. Palmitic acid in palm oil is predominantly
placed within the triglyceride molecule on the Sn1 and Sn3 positions. In contrast,
the majority of palmitic acid from animal sources is placed in the Sn2 position.
Consequently, research has shown that this unique structure of palmitic acid
in palm oil influences the way it is metabolized, resulting in a neutral effect
on cholesterol levels. 4 The late
David Kritchevsky, an expert on
cholesterol biosynthesis, carried out several studies on the metabolism of
saturated fat which are included in the reference section below.
Khosla, P. Hayes, K C. (1994). Food and Nutrition Bulletin. Vol. 15 , Number 2, June.
D et al. (1998). Journal of nutritional biochemistry 1998, vol.
9, No.10, pp. 582-585.
D et al. (2002). Asia Pacific Journal Of Clinical Nutrition.
Vol. 11 Oct, pp. 433-437.
D et al. (2000). Lipids. Jun; 35 (6): 621-5.
Tony Ng Kock
Wai. (1994). Food and Nutrition Bulletin. Vol. 15 , Number 2,
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Researchers have suggested that a diet high in antioxidants may prevent the
aging effect of free radical attack on skin cells. For this reason, it is important
to have high amounts of antioxidants in our skin cells. The content of antioxidants
in the skin is largely determined by the nutrient intake in our diet. Tocotrienols
have been found to preferentially accumulate in the strata corneum of the skin
and therefore offer a first line of defence against free radicals generated
in the skin by UV rays. 22-23
Antioxidants in the Skin
H et al. (2000). The journals of gerontology. Jun, 55(6): B280-5.
J. (2004). Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Dec; 1031:184-94
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Stable Cooking Oil
Oils and fats are generally susceptible to oxidation and subsequent rancidity,
however, saturated fats have a greater resistance to heat and are more stable
than liquid oils. Oxidised, rancid oil contains products that are harmful and
have been associated with various diseases.
12 In contrast, Virgin Red Palm
Oil contains a very rich supply of powerful natural antioxidants. Coupled with
this, it contains extremely low and only a moderate proportion of linolenic
and linoleic acid respectively, the two components of oils that are most readily
oxidised. The combination of these properties gives Virgin Red Palm Oil an
exceptional resistance to rancidity.
Stability during cooking is also an extremely important factor when choosing
a cooking oil. Virgin Red Palm Oil has an extremely high smoke point of 450
degrees F / 232 degrees Celsius, meaning that Virgin Red Palm Oil does not
deteriorate when heated to normal cooking temperatures.
Due to its extreme stability, delicious flavour and
beautiful colour, Virgin Red Palm Oil is excellent for frying, sauté’s,
casseroles, soups, sauces, baking, smoothies and all your cooking needs.
The exotic red hue will
bring your dishes to life.
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More Information On Virgin Red Palm Oil
Cooking with Red Palm Oil
Palm Oil World-Extensive
Palm Oil Information
The United Nations University Press Food and Nutrition Bulletin. Vol. 15 (1993/1994),
Number 2, June 1994.
Science In Africa (Online Science Magazine)
Extensive History on the
Use and Production of Palm Oil
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1. You C.S., et al. (2002), "Bioavailability and
vitamin A value of carotenes from red palm oil assessed by an extrinsic isotope
reference method. Asia Pacific
Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 11 Oct, pp. 438-442.
2. Rukmini, C. (1994). Red palm oil to combat vitamin A deficiency in developing
countries. The United Nations University Press Food and Nutrition Bulletin.
Vol. 15 (1993/1994), Number 2, June 1994. Internet:
(Accessed 10th April, 2007).
3. Donaldson, M. (2004). Nutrition and cancer: A review of the evidence for
an anti-cancer diet. Nutrition Journal, 3:19
4. Scrimshaw, N. (2005). A consensus report on the nutritional
and health benefits of palm oil for human consumption. Address Given at the
Congress of Nutrition, Durban, South Africa, 19–23 September 2005.
5. Rimbach, G. Minihane, A.Majewicz, J.Fischer, A. Pallauf, J.Virgli, F.Weinberg,
P. (2002). Regulation of cell signaling by vitamin E. Proceedings of the Nutrition
Society. Vol. 61 (4). November 2002. 415-425.
6. Slover, H T. (1971) Tocopherols in foods and fats.
Lipids. Vol. 6 (5),
7. Caldwell, E. (2006). Tocotrienol form of natural vitamin E helps against
stroke. Ohio State University Medical Center press release. Internet:
(Accessed 6th April 2007).
8. Kline K, Yu w, Sander BG, et al. (1999). Induction
of apoptosis in human breast cancer cells by tocopherols and tocotrienols.
Nutrition and Cancer,
33 : pp : 26 – 32.
9. Guthrie N, Gapor A, Chambers AF, Carroll KK. (1997). Inhibition of proliferation
of estrogen receptor-negative MDA-MB-435 and -positive MCF-7 human breast cancer
cells by palm oil tocotrienols and tamoxifen, alone and in combination. The
Journal of Nutrition. Mar; 127(3).
10. Srivastava JK; Gupta S. (2006) Tocotrienol-rich fraction of palm oil induces
cell cycle arrest and apoptosis selectively in human prostate cancer cells.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Jul 28; Vol. 346 (2),
11. Sundrum, K. (2007). AHA Recommendations and USFDA Legislated Health Claims
Achieved By Partnering Palm and Soybean Oils. Malaysian Palm oil Council: Sengalor;
(Accessed 9th April 2007).
12. Bird, R P. (1981). Cytotoxicity of thermally oxidized fats.
May; Vol. 17 (5), pp. 397-404.
13. Nkpa NN. Osanu, F C. Arowolo, T A. (1990) Effect of packaging materials
on storage stability of crude palm oil. Journal of the American Oil Chemists'
Society, April Vol. 67, (4) pp. 259-263.
14. Patel, V. Savita, K. Sashwati, R. Omar, E. Sen, C. (2006). Natural vitamin
E tocotrienol: Retention in vital organs in response to long term oral supplementation
and withdrawal. Free Radical Research, July 2006; 40(7): 763-771.
15. Tomeo AC. (1995). Antioxidant effects of tocotrienols in patients with
hyperlipidemia and carotid stenosis. Lipids. Dec; Vol. 30 (12), pp. 1179-83.
16. Baliarsingh S, Beg ZH, Ahmad J (2005) The therapeutic impacts of tocotrienols
in type 2 diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia. Atherosclerosis 182(2):367-74.
17. Cottrell, Richard C. (1991). "Introduction: nutritional aspects of
palm oil." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. April; Vol. 53. (4),
18. Sundram K, Sambanthamurthi R, Tan YA. (2003). Palm fruit chemistry and
nutrition. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 12(3):355-62
19. Das S, Powell SR, Wang P, Divald A, Nesaretnam K, Tosaki A, Cordis GA,
Maulik N, Das DK. (2005) Cardioprotection with palm tocotrienol: antioxidant
activity of tocotrienol is linked with its ability to stabilize proteasomes.
American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. Vol. 89(1):
20. Qureshi, A A. (1991). Lowering of serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic
humans by tocotrienols (palmvitee). The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition.
Vol. 53 (4 Suppl), pp. 1021S-1026S.
21. Van Rooyen, J. (2005) Can Red Palm Oil protect the heart?
Science in Africa
(Accessed 4th April 2007).
22. Schaffer, S. Muller, W E. Eckert, G P. (2005) Tocotrienols: Constitutional
Effects in Aging and Disease The Journal of Nutrition. February 1, 135(2):
151 - 154.
23. Adachi H, Ishii N. (2000). Effects of tocotrienols on life span and protein
carbonylation in Caenorhabditis elegans. The journals of gerontology.
A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. Jun, 55(6): B280-5.
24. Higdon, J. Drake, V. Stocker, R. (2007).
Coenzyme Q10. Linus Pauling Institute:
Macronutrient Information Centre, Oregon State University. Internet:
(Accessed 10th April 2007).
25. Sen, C K. Khanna, S. Roy, S. (2004). Tocotrienol: the natural vitamin
E to defend the nervous system? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
26. Newitt, N F. (1993). Living Nutrition. Perth: Australia. Universal Massage
27. Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO).
The facts on antioxidants. [Online] internet:
(Accessed 30th April 2007).
28. Tiahou G. (2004). Lack of oxidative stress in a selenium deficient area
in Ivory Coast: potential nutritional antioxidant role of crude palm oil. European
Journal of Nutrition, Dec; 43 (6): 367-74.
29. Nesaretnam K; Ambra R; Selvaduray KR; Radhakrishnan A; Canali R; Virgili
F. (2004). Tocotrienol-rich fraction from palm oil and gene expression in human
breast cancer cells. Annals Of The New York Academy Of Sciences Dec; Vol. 1031,
30. Radhika MS; Bhaskaram P; Balakrishna N; Ramalakshmi BA. (2003). Red palm
oil supplementation: a feasible diet-based approach to improve the vitamin
A status of pregnant women and their infants. Food And Nutrition Bulletin [Food Nutr Bull] 2003 Jun; Vol. 24 (2), pp. 208-17.
31. Zeba AN; Prével YM; Somé IT; Delisle
HF. (2006). The positive impact of red palm oil in school meals on vitamin
A status: study in Burkina
Faso. Nutrition Journal, Vol. 5, pp. 17.
32. Wattanapenpaiboon N, Wahlqvist MW. (2003). Phytonutrient deficiency: the
place of palm fruit. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003; 12(3):363-8.
33. Ong AS, Goh SH. (2002). Palm oil: a healthful and cost-effective dietary
component. The United Nations University Press Food and Nutrition Bulletin.
34. Atinmo T, (2003). Palm fruit in traditional African food culture. Asia
Pacific Journal Of Clinical Nutrition 2003; Vol. 12 (3), pp. 350-4traditional
African food culture.
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