Palm Fruit also known as African Oil Palm is an oval-shaped fruit from the African palm tree (Elaeis guineensis ). The Outer red fleshy fruit is the primary source of palm oil while the single inner edible kernel nut is the primary source of palm kernel oil. From the average palm fruit can be processed into different forms such as;
1) Palm Fruit Juice: This is the juice extract from the outer fleshy pericarp of whole fruit without further processing. It’s used in preparing various Nigerian dishes such as Banga soup, Ofe aku, Abak Atama e.t.c.
2) Palm Oil: This is the most popular product from the palm fruit. it is red in colour and used in various ways. When processed further, you’d get other products such as palm olein
- Palmolein (Vegetable oil): Bleached, neutralized, deodorized & de-gummed palm oil.
3) Palm Kernel Oil: Bleached, Neutralized, Deodorized Oil. This is processed from the kernel. After the processing of the fresh kernel fruit to yield palm oil, the shelled inner palm kernel nut which is left is then cracked to yield the palm kernel fruit which is crushed and processed into palm kernel oil. This is used in the production of vegetable oils, soaps, creams and candles and not suitable for human consumption therefore mainly used for soap making.
Palm fruit oil(Aku/Banga) is quite different from palm oil due to its extraction process. Also, palm kernel oil is different from Palm oil. Palm oil is the pure oil extracted from palm fruit pulp at high temperature while the palm fruit oil extract used for certain soups like Aku/Banga, Uziza and Oha is extracted at very low temperature and is a mixture of water and oil.
*Boil till most of the water used in filtering evaporates leaving the palm oil in the pot