One of the reasons for the increase in palm oil use in the food industry in the nineties is the move away from using unhealthy trans fats. Because palm oil is naturally smooth and stable, it is a good replacement for partially-hydrogenated fat containing trans fatty acids. Like most natural seed oils, palm oil only contains very little amounts of trans fats (<1 per cent). Palm oil has contributed to the almost total disappearance of industrial trans fats, specifically in the Western European food market.
In many food applications, the use of palm oil and palm oil fractions has been instrumental in lowering trans fat levels. The successful reduction of trans fatty acids in margarine for example, has been predominantly the result of using specific combinations of palm oil and liquid oils. No other vegetable fat with a semi-solid texture at room temperature and providing the same features exist in sufficient quantity.
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