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Ubiquitous PALM OIL – Don’t be an oblivion!

Almost all of us are oblivious. We may not be able to see it, but Palm Oil has become a common ingredient in our everyday lives. It is found in roughly half the packaged products sold in all grocery stores, including favorite snack foods like ice cream, cookies, chocolate products, instant noodles, doughnuts and potato chips. In fact, it is likely to be present in some form in nearly every room of your home.
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Source: Google

Recently, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) had organized its 2nd interactive session with around 35-40 food bloggers at Taj Vivanta, MG Road, Bengaluru, where all our questions about palm oil – origin, production, and pros & cons were answered.
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The informative session started off with Bhavana Shah’s talk, who is the country representative for India and Srilanka, MPOC which was followed by Dr. Meena Mehta’s speech, the Vice President of Indian Dietic Association.
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History & Origin:  The Palm oil originated from West Africa, where evidence pf its use as a staple food crop dates as far back as 5,000 years. Also, there’s an evidence in Egyptian tombs of people being buried with casks of Palm oil. Clearly, with its origins from West Africa and evidence of consumption in Egypt, it can be considered as one of the earliest traded commodities. 
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The first commercial scale plantation in Malaysia was founded in 1917 and established in Tennamaran Estate in Selangor. The cultivation of oil palm increased at a fast pace in 1960’s under the government’s agricultural diversification program, which was introduced to reduce the country’s economic dependence on rubber and tin. The oil palm plantations in Malaysia are largely based on the estate management system and smallholder scheme.
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Statistics: Today, 4.49 million hectares of land in Malaysia is under oil palm cultivation; producing 17.73 million tonnes of palm oil and 2.13 tonnes of palm kernel oil. Malaysia is one the largest producers and exporters of palm oil in the world, accounting for 11% of the world’s oils & fats production and 27% of the export trade of oils & fats. The industry provides employment to more than half a million people and livelihood to an estimated one million people.

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Crude palm oil and the crude palm kernel oil are the two main types of oils produced.
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Palm oil, Palm Olein, Palm Stearin, Palm Kernel oil, Palm Kernel olein and Palm Kernel Stearin are the various types produced during the conventional milling process. Each type of oil has its own applications in different fields.

Palm oil itself isn’t the enemy — it’s where and how it’s grown that we need to change. As far as edible oils go, it is actually quite good. The oil palm tree, which is the source of palm oil, is highly productive. It yields 4–10 times more oil per hectare than other oilseed crops.
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How healthy is Palm Oil?

It is rich in natural chemical compounds important for health and nutrition. Among others, it is a natural source of Carotenoids & Vitamin-E as well as supplying fatty acids and other important fat-soluble micronutrients. It also supplies an abundance of calories that gives us much-needed energy for our daily life.

Impacts on the environment: 

1. Deforestation, draining and planting palm on peatlands, land disputes with rural communities — all of these have been major consequences of the global palm oil boom. Many problems stem from the fact that too much oil palm has been planted at the expense of tropical forest.

2. And the loss of forests doesn’t just impact local communities. It is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change.

Solution: Palm oil and deforestation do not have to go hand in hand. There is massive efforts underway to break this cycle and put the palm oil sector on a path to sustainability. Indonesia and other palm oil-producing countries can produce more without cutting down additional forests.
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The event was just not about creating awareness, but also about some fun.

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Post session discussions with Dr. Meena and fellow bloggers.

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Thank you, Bhavana Shah and Dr. Meena Mehta for giving us insights about Palm oil. Three cheers to Priyanka and her team Six Sigma Events for organizing such an interactive session. Looking forward to more such events 🙂

To know more about Palm oil, click on the link:

ABOUT PALM OIL

 

Sources: MPOC & Google.

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Desserts Trail and Masterclass by Diabetic Food Trail

Do we love desserts? Absolutely, we mean who doesn’t right? Every once in awhile people like to indulge themselves in a fancy dessert! Calories are the main reasons why people, especially diabetics hesitate to savour desserts. To tackle this, Semora in association with Britannia NutriChoice Essential have come up with The Diabetic Food Trails which introduces diabetic friendly dishes. We were invited to a two-day event, Healthy Desserts Trail and Masterclass.

Day 1: Healthy Desserts Trail is the one we all wish for. Imagine having desserts upon desserts for lunch! And that’s exactly what we did. A restaurant trail which began at Fava and ended at Ritz Carlton had a huge set of desserts for us to try.

Fava being the first restaurant of the crawl plated Fresh Ricotta and Red Grape Timbale with NutriChoice Essentials Grain Cookies along with Sugar-free Callebaut Belgian Dark Chocolate Sorbet with Cut Fresh Fruits.
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Caperberry went overload with chocolate with Sugar-free Belgian Chocolate Decadence with NutriChoice Essentials Oats Cookies and fresh with Sugar-free Pannacotta with Orange compote, Vanilla sauce, and crunchy Tuile. Just two restaurants done and we nearly had lost our appetite for desserts. Decadence was absolute divine!
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nutrichoice

Smally’s Resto Cafe had curated No Bake Muesli Cheesecake with NutriChoice Essentials Oats Cookies and Twisted Ragi Choco Cake with NutriChoice Essentials Ragi Cookies.
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Ritz Carlton came up with Apple Plum Strudel, Apricot Cranberry Cupcakes with NutriChoice Essentials Oats Cookies and Blueberry Mint Parfait with NutriChoice Essential Oats Cookies. Or as we’d like to call, Sunshine and Desserts!
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Day 2: On the occasion of World Diabetic Day, a masterclass session was in place to learn few diabetic friendly and easy to prepare recipes. After a scrumptious desserts lunch day before, we had Chef Irfan Pabaney from Sassy Spoon, Chef John from Smally’s and Head Chef from Anjappar to demonstrate specially curated recipes.
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Three cheers to Seema Pinto and the team for organizing an informative and healthy event!

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MPOC Food Hunt – Food Hunting, fun and more :)

Ferrero Rocher, Kit-kat, Nutella, Haldirams, Good-day all these leading confectioneries mainly use Palm Oil for manufacturing them. Yes, you heard us right. Palm oil is a hidden gem in the market which hasn’t gained much attention.
When it comes to cooking, we Indians are collectively practiced with mostly Sunflower Oil or groundnut oil, due to its large availability. In past few years, Olive Oil seems to have made it’s way to the kitchen with limited usage because of its high smoking point. Though Palm oil is known from years, it is been neglected in the market due to misconceptions. It is widely used in the manufacturing of chocolates and condiments but is left behind in the mainstream cooking due to the negative reviews during the initial days of availability.

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A couple of days ago, Malaysian Palm Oil Council organized an event at Mainland China, Chruch Street to tackle the common misconceptions of Palm Oil and to spread awareness. With a warm welcome, Bhavana Shah enlightened us regarding the benefits of Palm oil.

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The event was just not to brief about palm oil, but also to involve all the food lovers in a fun filled activity. It was called as Food hunt which involved flashing around the mentioned restaurants with small tasks to complete in different levels.

We were grouped into 4 teams with four happy faces in each 🙂 As always, the team with highest points would be called as winners.
First up was Blind Soup Tasting at “Oh! Calcutta”. We were blindfolded and made to taste a soup. The task was to list down the ingredients used in the preparation. It took about a while by the time we finished and got our next clue card.

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Next activity was Salad Making at “Hoppipola”. In this challenge, we were asked to make use of 7 ingredients out of 11 and prepare a lip-smacking salad which would be tasted and rated by the Hoppipola chef. At the end of this level, we got our next clue card.

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The third activity was the easiest of the all. The clue led to “Empire” where a Sweet Beeda/Pan had to be completed in order to move on. The pan looked so small but it took forever to complete.

Next up was a Quiz about Palm Oil at “Russh”. We were given a small list of objectives to answer in order to complete the game. The clue cards ended after the quiz and we returned to Mainland China.

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The first team to return back from the activities were given 5 additional points. At the end, we had one board game of darts after which we had a photoshoot with a lot of cool and crazy props! After all these activities, winners were awarded goodies 🙂
Three cheers to the entire team for organizing such an innovative event! Looking forward to more such fun events. Will surely spread the word about Palm oil and its benefits. We are Happy Palm Oil Users too 🙂

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