Certified Organic Virgin Red Palm Oil

Virgin Red Palm Oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis) which originated in West Africa and was later introduced to Latin America and South East Asia in the 15th and 19th centuries respectively. Although Virgin Red Palm Oil has been consumed in Africa as a safe and nutritious cooking oil for thousands of years, westerners are only now beginning to realise its extensive benefits. Virgin Red Palm Oil is an unrefined oil which retains the oil palm fruits natural orangey red colour. The beautiful red hue of this oil is a result of the extremely high level of carotenes. The benefits of this oil are numerous and have been the subject of much rigorous research over the last 10 years. Of particular interest to scientists are the beneficial properties of palm oil resulting from the oils unique fat structure and extremely rich content of vitamin E and A antioxidants. Links provided on this page are predominantly sourced from scientific journal articles found in the United States National Library of Medicine.

Attributes of Virgin Red Palm Oil




Virgin Red Palm Oil has one of the highest known bioavailable (readily absorbed) antioxidant content found in vegetable sources. 1 These natural antioxidants scavenge free radicals (highly destructive molecules that can cause extensive damage to the body and can lead to a range of pathological conditions). The Healthy Eating Club (HEC) is a health information source maintained by nutrition experts from Monash University. HEC is also accredited by the Australian Government organisation Healthinsite as a reliable source of health information. Below is a link to a HEC fact sheet that describes some of the beneficial characteristics of antioxidant activity.

Antioxidants HEC Fact Sheet

The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO) also have information regarding research on the possible benefits of natural antioxidants.

Antioxidants CSIRO Fact Sheet

Antioxidants in Virgin Red Palm Oil

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Provitamin A Carotenoids

According to the United Nations University Press Food and Nutrition Bulletin (1994), Virgin Red Palm Oil is nature’s richest source of bioavailable carotenoids in terms of retinol (provitamin A) equivalent. 2 Vitamin A is produced in the body from beta carotene and other carotenoids; it can also be consumed in a preformed state known as retinol. Carotenoids are found in vegetables and fruits whilst retinol is found in animal by-products such as cheese, cream, eggs and fish oils. Carotenoids are a group of over 700 compounds. It is these compounds that produce the red, yellow and orange colours found in many fruits and vegetables. It is widely accepted that carrots and tomatoes are a good source of carotenoids. However, Virgin Red Palm Oil contains over 15 x more carotenoids than carrots and 300 x more than tomatoes, for the same given quantity. It is this rich supply of carotenoids that gives Virgin Red Palm Oil its striking orange red colour and makes it a good source of provitamin A.

A single tablespoon of Virgin Red Palm Oil contains 1,200 µg of Vitamin A in the form of provitamin A carotenoids. The HEC webpage on Provitamin A states that unlike retinol (the preformed Vitamin A found in animal by-products) carotenes are not toxic in large doses and have no recommended daily intake level. Provitamin A carotenoids are actually the safest form of vitamin A to consume, because your body only converts as much carotene to vitamin A as it requires. The HEC website contains further information on beta carotene (Provitamin A).

Provitamin A (HEC)

Palm Oil Carotenoids (United Nations University Press)

Research on Provitamin A Carotenoids in Red Palm Oil

Zeba A N, et al. (2006). Nutrition Journal, Vol. 5, pp. 17.

You C.S., et al. (2002). Asia Pacific Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 11 Oct, pp. 438-442.

Rukmini, C. (1994). Food and Nutrition Bulletin. Vol. 15 , Number 2, June.

Radhika M S et al. (2003). Food And Nutrition Bulletin Jun; Vol. 24 (2), pp. 208-17

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Vitamin E

Virgin Red Palm Oil is an extremely rich source of Vitamin E. Scrimshaw, N. (2005) and Rimbach et al (2002) describe various examples where research has revealed that Vitamin E has promising antioxidant properties.4-5 Vitamin E is a general term used for all tocopherols and their derivatives. There are eight different forms of Vitamin E found in nature. These include alpha, beta, gamma, and delta-tocopherols and alpha, beta, gamma and delta-tocotrienols. With the exception of beta tocopherol, Virgin Red Palm Oil contains all of the Vitamin E derivatives. 6

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According to Ohio State University Medical Center, Virgin Red Palm Oil is the richest known source of tocotrienols.7 Until recently Alpha-tocopherols have been considered to be the most potent form of Vitamin E. However, currently research is discovering the powerful and unique properties of tocotrienols.

Research on Tocotrienols

Schaffer, S et al. (2005). The Journal of Nutrition. February 1, 135(2): 151 - 154.

Guthrie, N et al. (1997). The Journal of Nutrition. Mar; 127(3).

Kline, K et al. (1999). Nutrition and Cancer, 33 : pp : 26 – 32.

Srivastava, JK et al. (2006) Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Jul 28; Vol. 346 (2), pp. 447-53.

Patel, V et al. (2006). Free Radical Research, July 2006; 40(7): 763-771.

Sen, C K et al. (2006). Life Sciences. Mar 27;78(18):2088-98.

Sen, C K. (2004). Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Dec;1031:127-42.

Tomeo AC. (1995). Lipids. Dec; Vol. 30 (12), pp. 1179-83.

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Whilst the carotene (vitamin A) and tocopherol (vitamin E) phytonutrient levels are extremely high in Red Palm Oil, it also contains significant amounts of lycopene and coenzyme Q10.


Coenzyme Q10

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Dietary Source of Energy

As is widely understood, fats provide a form of concentrated calories, which are used as an excellent source of energy during moderate to vigorous exercise. Palm oil contains a composition that is uniquely balanced between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, including 44% palmitic acid (saturated fatty acid), the same saturated fatty acid that is most abundant in our bodies and throughout nature, 40% oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acid), the predominant fatty acid found in olive oil and the remainder fat content is mainly made up of omega 6 linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acid). As a result, palm oil provides a balanced source of fatty acids. 4

In the past palm oil has been unfairly associated with heart disease due to it’s moderate saturated fat content. However, this view has been superseded by recent research on the metabolism of palmitic acid, the saturated fatty acid found in Virgin Red Palm Oil. In the past, the general perception portrayed by health experts is that all saturated fat should be avoided. The unfortunate result of authorities failing to differentiate between which types of saturated fats were detrimental led to the avoidance of all types of saturated fats. The preferred alternatives at the time were hydrogenated and polyunsaturated vegetable oils which contained trans fatty acids. Hydrogenated products include margarine, shortenings and other processed foods. Trans fats have been directly correlated to a host of diseases, currently the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that less than 1% of energy intake should be in the form of trans fatty acids. 11

In a recent address delivered to a nutritional congress in Durban, Professor Nevin Scrimshaw, President of the International Nutrition Foundation (INF) and Palm Oil advocate outlined the unique attributes of Red Palm Oil. Professor Scrimshaw explained why Palm Oil is not atherogenic (does not cause hardening of the arteries) despite its 40% of palmitic acids (saturated fatty acids). Professor Scrimshaw also went on to explain how the fatty acid structure of palmitic acid contained within palm oil is uniquely different from that found in animal fats and by products. Palmitic acid in palm oil is predominantly placed within the triglyceride molecule on the Sn1 and Sn3 positions. In contrast, the majority of palmitic acid from animal sources is placed in the Sn2 position. Consequently, research has shown that this unique structure of palmitic acid in palm oil influences the way it is metabolized, resulting in a neutral effect on cholesterol levels. 4 The late Professor David Kritchevsky, an expert on cholesterol biosynthesis, carried out several studies on the metabolism of saturated fat which are included in the reference section below.

Khosla, P. Hayes, K C. (1994). Food and Nutrition Bulletin. Vol. 15 , Number 2, June.

Kritchevsky, D et al. (1998). Journal of nutritional biochemistry 1998, vol. 9, No.10, pp. 582-585.

Kritchevsky, D et al. (2002). Asia Pacific Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 11 Oct, pp. 433-437.

Kritchevsky, D et al. (2000). Lipids. Jun; 35 (6): 621-5.

Tony Ng Kock Wai. (1994). Food and Nutrition Bulletin. Vol. 15 , Number 2, June.

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Skin Care

Researchers have suggested that a diet high in antioxidants may prevent the aging effect of free radical attack on skin cells. For this reason, it is important to have high amounts of antioxidants in our skin cells. The content of antioxidants in the skin is largely determined by the nutrient intake in our diet. Tocotrienols have been found to preferentially accumulate in the strata corneum of the skin and therefore offer a first line of defence against free radicals generated in the skin by UV rays. 22-23

Antioxidants in the Skin

Adachi, H et al. (2000). The journals of gerontology. Jun, 55(6): B280-5.

Theile, J. (2004). Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Dec; 1031:184-94

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Stable Cooking Oil

Oils and fats are generally susceptible to oxidation and subsequent rancidity, however, saturated fats have a greater resistance to heat and are more stable than liquid oils. Oxidised, rancid oil contains products that are harmful and have been associated with various diseases. 12 In contrast, Virgin Red Palm Oil contains a very rich supply of powerful natural antioxidants. Coupled with this, it contains extremely low and only a moderate proportion of linolenic and linoleic acid respectively, the two components of oils that are most readily oxidised. The combination of these properties gives Virgin Red Palm Oil an exceptional resistance to rancidity.

Stability during cooking is also an extremely important factor when choosing a cooking oil. Virgin Red Palm Oil has an extremely high smoke point of 450 degrees F / 232 degrees Celsius, meaning that Virgin Red Palm Oil does not deteriorate when heated to normal cooking temperatures.

Due to its extreme stability, delicious flavour and beautiful colour, Virgin Red Palm Oil is excellent for frying, sauté’s, casseroles, soups, sauces, baking, smoothies and all your cooking needs. The exotic red hue will bring your dishes to life.

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More Information On Virgin Red Palm Oil

Cooking with Red Palm Oil

General Review

Palm Oil World-Extensive Palm Oil Information

The United Nations University Press Food and Nutrition Bulletin. Vol. 15 (1993/1994), Number 2, June 1994.

Science In Africa (Online Science Magazine)

Extensive History on the Use and Production of Palm Oil

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1. You C.S., et al. (2002), "Bioavailability and vitamin A value of carotenes from red palm oil assessed by an extrinsic isotope reference method. Asia Pacific Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 11 Oct, pp. 438-442.

2. Rukmini, C. (1994). Red palm oil to combat vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. The United Nations University Press Food and Nutrition Bulletin. Vol. 15 (1993/1994), Number 2, June 1994. Internet:  (Accessed 10th April, 2007).
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3. Donaldson, M. (2004). Nutrition and cancer: A review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet. Nutrition Journal, 3:19
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4. Scrimshaw, N. (2005). A consensus report on the nutritional and health benefits of palm oil for human consumption. Address Given at the 18th International Congress of Nutrition, Durban, South Africa, 19–23 September 2005.

5. Rimbach, G. Minihane, A.Majewicz, J.Fischer, A. Pallauf, J.Virgli, F.Weinberg, P. (2002). Regulation of cell signaling by vitamin E. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. Vol. 61 (4). November 2002. 415-425.

6. Slover, H T. (1971) Tocopherols in foods and fats. Lipids. Vol. 6 (5), pp. 291-6.

7. Caldwell, E. (2006). Tocotrienol form of natural vitamin E helps against stroke. Ohio State University Medical Center press release. Internet: (Accessed 6th April 2007).

8. Kline K, Yu w, Sander BG, et al. (1999). Induction of apoptosis in human breast cancer cells by tocopherols and tocotrienols. Nutrition and Cancer, 33 : pp : 26 – 32.

9. Guthrie N, Gapor A, Chambers AF, Carroll KK. (1997). Inhibition of proliferation of estrogen receptor-negative MDA-MB-435 and -positive MCF-7 human breast cancer cells by palm oil tocotrienols and tamoxifen, alone and in combination. The Journal of Nutrition. Mar; 127(3).
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10. Srivastava JK; Gupta S. (2006) Tocotrienol-rich fraction of palm oil induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis selectively in human prostate cancer cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Jul 28; Vol. 346 (2), pp. 447-53.

11. Sundrum, K. (2007). AHA Recommendations and USFDA Legislated Health Claims Achieved By Partnering Palm and Soybean Oils. Malaysian Palm oil Council: Sengalor; Malaysia. Internet: (Accessed 9th April 2007).

12. Bird, R P. (1981). Cytotoxicity of thermally oxidized fats. In Vitro, May; Vol. 17 (5), pp. 397-404.

13. Nkpa NN. Osanu, F C. Arowolo, T A. (1990) Effect of packaging materials on storage stability of crude palm oil. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, April Vol. 67, (4) pp. 259-263.

14. Patel, V. Savita, K. Sashwati, R. Omar, E. Sen, C. (2006). Natural vitamin E tocotrienol: Retention in vital organs in response to long term oral supplementation and withdrawal. Free Radical Research, July 2006; 40(7): 763-771.

15. Tomeo AC. (1995). Antioxidant effects of tocotrienols in patients with hyperlipidemia and carotid stenosis. Lipids. Dec; Vol. 30 (12), pp. 1179-83.

16. Baliarsingh S, Beg ZH, Ahmad J (2005) The therapeutic impacts of tocotrienols in type 2 diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia. Atherosclerosis 182(2):367-74.

17. Cottrell, Richard C. (1991). "Introduction: nutritional aspects of palm oil." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. April; Vol. 53. (4), 1-2.

18. Sundram K, Sambanthamurthi R, Tan YA. (2003). Palm fruit chemistry and nutrition. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 12(3):355-62

19. Das S, Powell SR, Wang P, Divald A, Nesaretnam K, Tosaki A, Cordis GA, Maulik N, Das DK. (2005) Cardioprotection with palm tocotrienol: antioxidant activity of tocotrienol is linked with its ability to stabilize proteasomes. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. Vol. 89(1): H361-7.

20. Qureshi, A A. (1991). Lowering of serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic humans by tocotrienols (palmvitee). The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. April; Vol. 53 (4 Suppl), pp. 1021S-1026S.

21. Van Rooyen, J. (2005) Can Red Palm Oil protect the heart? Science in Africa [Online], Internet: (Accessed 4th April 2007).

22. Schaffer, S. Muller, W E. Eckert, G P. (2005) Tocotrienols: Constitutional Effects in Aging and Disease The Journal of Nutrition. February 1, 135(2): 151 - 154.
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23. Adachi H, Ishii N. (2000). Effects of tocotrienols on life span and protein carbonylation in Caenorhabditis elegans. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. Jun, 55(6): B280-5.

24. Higdon, J. Drake, V. Stocker, R. (2007). Coenzyme Q10. Linus Pauling Institute: Macronutrient Information Centre, Oregon State University. Internet: (Accessed 10th April 2007).

25. Sen, C K. Khanna, S. Roy, S. (2004). Tocotrienol: the natural vitamin E to defend the nervous system? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Dec;1031:127-42.

26. Newitt, N F. (1993). Living Nutrition. Perth: Australia. Universal Massage Therapists United.

27. Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO). The facts on antioxidants. [Online] internet: (Accessed 30th April 2007).

28. Tiahou G. (2004). Lack of oxidative stress in a selenium deficient area in Ivory Coast: potential nutritional antioxidant role of crude palm oil. European Journal of Nutrition, Dec; 43 (6): 367-74.

29. Nesaretnam K; Ambra R; Selvaduray KR; Radhakrishnan A; Canali R; Virgili F. (2004). Tocotrienol-rich fraction from palm oil and gene expression in human breast cancer cells. Annals Of The New York Academy Of Sciences Dec; Vol. 1031, pp. 143-57.

30. Radhika MS; Bhaskaram P; Balakrishna N; Ramalakshmi BA. (2003). Red palm oil supplementation: a feasible diet-based approach to improve the vitamin A status of pregnant women and their infants. Food And Nutrition Bulletin [Food Nutr Bull] 2003 Jun; Vol. 24 (2), pp. 208-17.

31. Zeba AN; Prével YM; Somé IT; Delisle HF. (2006). The positive impact of red palm oil in school meals on vitamin A status: study in Burkina Faso. Nutrition Journal, Vol. 5, pp. 17.

32. Wattanapenpaiboon N, Wahlqvist MW. (2003). Phytonutrient deficiency: the place of palm fruit. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003; 12(3):363-8.

33. Ong AS, Goh SH. (2002). Palm oil: a healthful and cost-effective dietary component. The United Nations University Press Food and Nutrition Bulletin. Mar;23(1):11-22

34. Atinmo T, (2003). Palm fruit in traditional African food culture. Asia Pacific Journal Of Clinical Nutrition 2003; Vol. 12 (3), pp. 350-4traditional African food culture.
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