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How is palm oil made?

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Palm oil is one of the raw materials in the world that has many uses, it can be found in shampoos, toothpastes to cakes and coffee creamers.

However, how is palm oil made?

Palm oil production starts from oil palm seeds. Oil palm plantations have a productive life of 25-30 years, therefore seed selection will affect productivity for decades to come. Asian Agri has produced its own oil palm seed under the name Topaz, which has advantages in terms of high productivity and is more resistant to pests than other oil palm crops.

These seeds are planted in nurseries where they receive intensive care for the first eight months of their growth, before being transferred to the garden.

In plantations these trees are watered and managed using adequate fertilizers during their growing period. After 30 months this plant is considered mature and ready to be harvested, this harvesting process will be carried out every 7-10 days.

Oil palm fruit is known as Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB). To harvest FFB, harvesters must use dodos or a knife with a long pole to cut the fruit from the tree trunk. FFB that are ready to be harvested are very easy to identify by their bright red color and if 10-15 fruits fall on the ground.

Process in factory

The harvested FFB is sent by transport trucks to the mill, for steam sterilization. This process is carried out so that the FFB can be released from the bunch, and to turn off enzymes that can cause the quality of the FFB to decrease.

After the FFB is released from the bunch, then the empty fruit bunches will be used again. The long fibers in the stems can be used to make mattresses and car seat cushions, while the remaining empty fruit bunches are returned to the garden soil to help retain moisture before turning into fertilizer once the rotting process has occurred.

After being released from the bunch, the oil palm fruit is processed into two main products: Crude Palm Oil (CPO), which is extracted from the mesocarp or flesh of the fruit, and Palm Kernel Oil (PKO), which comes from the hard seed in the middle.

The first step is to press the fruit, to squeeze the CPO from its mesocarp. The oil is then filtered and purified to ensure it is free from contamination, and dried to meet CPO standard specifications.

Furthermore, CPO is transferred to processing plants to be processed into vegetable oil (cooking oil, cream and margarine), oleochemicals (used in detergents and lubricants), biodiesel (fuel) and lauric acid (used in cosmetics and soaps).

Meanwhile, the ‘cake’, namely Palm kernel cake (BIS), which consists of a mixture of mesocarp fibers and shells left in the squeezing machine, is fed to a depericarper, which separates the mesocarp fibers and seeds.

Mesocarp fibers are used as biofuel or biofuel in palm oil mill boilers, which produce steam that drives turbines to power the mill.

The remaining oil palm kernels, also known as palm kernels or kernels, are cracked and their shells separated. The shells are extracted to be sold as biofuels, while the kernels are further crushed to produce Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) and Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE).

Crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) also undergoes a refining process before being used in the manufacture of food products such as non-dairy cream and ice cream, while the remaining production from palm kernel cake (PKE) is generally used to make animal feed.

Recycling leftovers

At Asian Agri, residual wastewater from the palm oil production process – called Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) – is also recycled, either as fertilizer or as fuel for a biodigester – a device used to break down and convert organic waste into biogas. Currently, Asian Agri has ten biogas plants, which use the methane gas produced to power factories and operations, as well as provide electricity to the surrounding community.

Asian Agri uses a continuous production process, minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency, which are also key requirements of certification bodies such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This enables higher productivity and lower environmental impact, creating products that are used by millions of people around the world every day in a sustainable manner.

 

Sumber : https://www.asianagri.com

 

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