organic products grown in a sustainable habitat

From palm trees to palm oil

24 January 2014

farmers, environment, health, cooking, social reponsibility

In this blog post, the types of palm trees will be discussed, in particular the oil palm and its uses in everyday products.

Palm trees are a gift from nature– a gift that has produced fruits loaded with energy and precious nutrients. There are two main types of tropical palms and one main kind of desert climate palm (Phoenix dactylifera¬– considered sacred in North Africa and surrounding regions). The two main types of tropical palms are the oil palm (Elaesis guineensis) and the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera).

The oil palm is a perennial tree that produces fruit all year round. It is the world’s highest yielding oil crop, with an output 5–10 times greater per hectare than other leading vegetable oils. The oil palm produces two oils: from the pulp or mesocarp (palm oil) and from the seed or kernel inside the hard shell mesocarp (palm kernel oil). Both oils can be used in crude and refined form.

Red or virgin palm oil is becoming the most popular among individual consumers. In contrast, white/refined palm oil is preferred for commercial use. The basic difference between red and white palm oil is the degree of processing. In addition, there is fractionated oil, which involves separating into two fractions, hence the name. The two fractions that can be made from palm oil are palm olein (liquid) and palm stearin (solid).

As for its uses, palm oil is versatile and can be found as a common ingredient in many consumer products due to its properties. It has a high melting point: at room temperature it is semi-solid, on a cold day or when refrigerated, it hardens as on a hot day, it can become completely liquid.

Other advantages include heat stability; palm oil can be used for all types of frying, as it has a high frying temperature (225 0C) and does not leave a greasy feeling in the mouth as sunflower or peanut oil does. It also blends well with other edible oils, and it is resistant to oxidization and rancidity, which entails products using palm oil have an extended shelf life. 50% of all products with every day usage contain palm oil. Products such as margarine, cereals, crisps, soaps and baked goods, to soaps, washing powders and cosmetics contain palm oil as an ingredient.

More information about palm oil can be found on the Natural Habitats website . Natural Habitats provides with organic, fair-trade and sustainable palm oil, being fully committed to ensuring the highest standards of responsible production, social development and environmental stewardship.


Blog & News

Palm Oil Is Everywhere

Palm oil (Elaeis guineensis) originates from West Africa. Once planted, after 3-4 years’ palm oil trees start to producing its first fruits and will continue all year-round for up to 30 years. Oil Palm is high yielding; it produces more oil per hectare than any other major oil seed crop.

Did you know that half of your items in your house contain palm oil?
Palm oil is also the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet

farmers, social reponsibility, environment, organic

Why Farm Organically?

With a growing population, nearly 10 billion people by 2050, and an increasing demand for food, agriculture is placed under extreme pressure. We heavily rely on services that the industry provides to us, such as food, clothes, wood, and many others. Unfortunately, with biodiversity losses and deforestation practices that accompany modern agriculture, these services are currently at risk. Therefore, we must take actions to sustain biodiversity, soils and forests for the generations to come

social reponsibility, environment, farmers, organic

An Important Role of Intercropping in Modern Agriculture

Population of our planet is constantly growing. The threat of insufficient food supply in the near future encourages intensification of the search for more productive agricultural technics. At Natural Habitats, we believe that well-planned intercropping is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to increase agricultural productivity.

Intercropping, as well as other forms of multiple cropping, is an ancient method of intensive agriculture that involves cultivation of two or more crops simultaneously on the same field

environment, farmers

Mainstream Sustainable Palm Oil Production in Ecuador

Deforestation caused by many palm-oil producers, harming wildlife habitats, has been a widespread concern around the world. However, more and more palm oil is now being sourced sustainably with a help of the certification initiative promoted by a non-profit association Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) that aims to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. Natural Habitats as 100% organic and sustainable producer was certified with RSPO standard in 2013.

In May 2013, Natural Habitats in Ecuador (Exportsustent) together with Solidaridad and National Association of Oil Palm Growers (ANCUPA) developed a pioneering project Mainstream Sustainable Palm Oil Production in Ecuador

farmers, environment, partnership, social reponsibility

An Ongoing Education of Farmers

Natural Habitats believes in doing business in harmony with the environment. This is the reason for us to continuously encourage smallholder farmers in Ecuador and Sierra Leone into getting involved in organic and sustainable production of palm oil.

On a regular basis, we educate and train our smallholder farmers in nature preservation and organic farming practices for not only their own good but for the betterment of the society

farmers, partnership, social reponsibility

Fair Trade Explained

Today, we are surrounded by numerous certifications on the products we buy at supermarkets. It is getting more and more confusing to figure out what exactly most of them stand for. Some labels are self-explanatory and some are not. Fair for Life Social and FairTrade certification belongs to the second category. Therefore, most of the consumers do not even realize that while they purchase Fair for Life or FairTrade certified products they contribute to the empowerment of poor around the world

farmers, social reponsibility, environment

Why Healthy Palm Oil is not an Oxymoron

When people hear about palm oil the first thing that usually comes to their mind is heart disease. The logic is pretty simple: fifty per cent of the oil consists of saturated fat that supposed to be bad for the heart, therefore, palm oil causes heart disease. However, numerous studies continue to confirm that palm oil does not promote heart problems and, if anything, it protects against them

cooking, health

Sustaining Food Security

Pressure on the world’s food supply is constantly increasing due to population growth, changing diets and government policies promoting biofuels. Current estimates suggest that by 2050 the food demand will be twice what it was in 2005. Biotech companies have strongly promoted the idea that genetically engineered (GE) crops are the key to “feeding the world”. According to Environmental Working Group , recent studies show that this promise has fallen flat

environment, farmers, social reponsibility