Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Red palm oil as source of vitamin A

Red palm oil as source of vitamin A and E will be the next business prospects of the health sector for more advanced vegetable oil industry. Indonesia as the world's biggest producer of crude palm oil (CPO) has the opportunity to generate new products of healthy vegetable oils. At least 10 million children and millions of poor people in Indonesia still lack Vitamin A, which is beneficial for the eyes health and keep the cell regeneration, immunity, and reduce the risk of cancer and lupus.
Meanwhile, according to nutritionist Prof. Dr. Muhilal, the active form of vit. A consists of retinol, retinal, retinoic acid. Sources of retinol is a liver, food of animal origin. Source of pro vitamin A (carotene) is green vegetables, yellow vegetables, yellow flesh fruit. Palm oil, he said, contains a very high provit. A, but discarded in the process of making cooking or frying oil. To overcome the problem of lack of vitamin A deficiency (VAD), there are four ways. It is consist of food-based interventions, supplementation, food fortification and public health interventions. It is also described that among other food-based interventions is conducted with red palm oil (1963-1969). In that period, children under five years old given one teaspoon of red palm oil per day showed significant increased vitamin A status.
What is the difference between CPO, cooking oil and red palm oil as source of vitamin A ?
CPO is the world's highest-producing carotenoids. The CPO at the first phase of processing showed a solid red color contains beta carotene and provit. A as much as 600-1000 mg per kg or ppm. Carotenoids as a provit. A is easily absorbed by the human digestive tract mucosa cells and then converted into retinol with the potential conversion of 98%. This makes the potential of red palm oil as a source of vitamin A which is much more effective and cheaper than other sources.
The CPO processing into frying oil involves the destruction of the provit. A large-scale cooking oil to obtain a clear or slightly yellow in color. This treatment process, referred to as purification, also destroys vit. E which is also contained in the CPO. If the CPO production in Indonesia reached a minimum production of 16 million tonnes per year, while provit. A carotenoid content of 550 ppm, then the amount of provit. A, which is destroyed at least 7700 tons per year. That quantity can meet the needs of at least 30 billion people per year with the calculation of the average demand per person of 700 mcg of retinol equivalents per day.
Therefore, research and product development of red palm oil as source of vitamin A should be one focus for researchers and industrial plantations in Indonesia.

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