Palm oil and threats to a critically important food source: The chloropropanols—Caution, controversy, and correction
Published on Jan 1, 2017
· DOI :10.1177/2397847317699844
The oil palm, an ancient tropical tree species that originated in West Africa, has a history of centuries-long use both as a food and a medicine. Based on its higher saturated fatty acid composition, primarily palmitic acid, concerns have been flagged about its nutritional attributes. Elevation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol effects of the associated palmitic acid is far less profound than animal sources of this fatty acid and is linked with multiple health benefits. Recently, the European Food Safety Authority raised issues about potential health risks of the chloropropanols, heat- or acid-induced food contaminants created during the refining of all edible oils, and some hydrolyzed proteins. Despite the fact that the levels of 3-monochloropropane1,2 diol and its glycidyl esters are generally <800 ppb and without demonstrated toxicological effects in humans, the chloropropanols in palm oil appear to be a lightning rod for global criticism. The toxicological data are reviewed and evaluated, and an ...