Category Archives: 1989 Vol 1 No 1


This article describes the design, development and testing of a trunk injection machine. The machine comprised of an injection apparatus, hydraulic system and 200-litre storage tank mounted on a mini-tractor. Experiments were conducted to test injection effectiveness test, time and motion study (TMS) and field trial. The injection effectiveness test using 0.1% eosin dye on the healthy palms revealed that the machine was able to spread the dye to more than 60% coverage on the vertical (X) and horizontal (Y) axes, and up to 65 cm upwards on the longitudinal axis (Z). Results recommended to have two injections per palm for a better coverage profile. TMS revealed that the machine was able to treat about 37 palms per day with the injection cost of about RM 3.15 per palm. Study on 2088 Ganoderma-infected palms in an estate showed that 95.6% of the infected palms were still standing after one year treatment with Hexaconazole. The cost-effectiveness was calculated at RM 1.02 per palm over five-year of economic life. With the performance and cost of the machine, it is recommended that this machine is suitable to be used to treat palms infected with basal stem rot disease (BSR).

Genetic resources:New developments in oil palm breeding

This paper outlines the use of the oil palm germplasm in oil palm breeding and improvement. A large amount of genetic material was collected in Africa and Central-South America. The material collected in Nigeria was evaluated in the field and the elite palms selected could yield oil up to 10-12 tonnes ha-1 yr-1 which is twice the current yield of 5 – 6 tonnes. These high yielding palms are also short with a height increment of only 20-25 cm yr-1 as compared to 45-75 cm yr-1 with the current planting material. The dwarf palms could reduce the cost of harvesting and at same time prolong the replanting cycle.
There is considerable variation for fatty acid composition in the Nigerian collection. A number of palms had oil with an iodine value (I.V.) exceeding 60. With additional fractionation of this oil, the olein should attain an I.V. close to 70. With this I.V. it would be possible to market palm olein as salad oil in countries with a cold climate.
The Nigerian palms with high yield, dwarf and high I.V. are being used to initiate entirely new breeding populations to produce planting material for high I.V by 1995.

Significance of the black line within oil palm tissue decayed by Ganoderma boninense

A historical study was conducted on the black line found in stem tissue of oil palm infected with Ganoderma. The line was of fungal origin and formed by the action of a single mycelium. Deeply embedded within the line were masses of swollen hyphal cells which form resting structures. These structures might be critical for the prolonged survival of the pathogen within infected oil palm tissue buried in soil.

The production of superior lines and second cycle hybrids by inbreeding and selection

The realization that heterosis is due chiefly to the dispersion of dominant genes between the parents of a cross rather than to the overdominance of these genes has led to the important practical conclusions that, in principle, heterosis should be fixable in inbred lines. It follows, therefore, that there is no longer any genetical justification for regarding the improvement of outbreeding species any differently from that of inbreeding ones, so that all crops and stock can be improved by inbreeding programmes. In the past, breeders have had to employ an essentially empirical approach in carrying out improvement programmes which involve inbreeding. Recent work, however, has led to an understanding of the theoretical basis of the advances to be expected under inbreeding, both with and without selection, so that it is now possible for the breeder to design and carry out improvement programmes in a systematic way and, hence, to predict, from the early generations of a pedigree, the likelihood of obtaining recombinant inbred lines or hybrids that have the desired level of performance. In this paper we review this theory and discuss its application to the practical task of crop improvement.

Oleochemicals from palm oil and palm kernel oil

Oleochemicals are chemicals derived from natural oils and fats. The important basic oleochemicals, which are essentially the building blocks of oleochemical industry, are fatty acids, methyl esters, fatty alcohols and fatty amines. These oleochemicals, together with their derivatives, have a large variety of end uses. The principal raw materials for the production of these oleochemicals are tallow and coconut oil. This situation is changing due to the growing importance of palm oil in the world oils and fats scene. Technically, palm oil and palm oil products could to a large extent replace tallow, while palm kernel oil and coconut oil are interchangeable raw materials in oleochemical manufacturing. The ASEAN region will be a significant area for the oleochemical industry as it is the largest palm oil and lauric oil producer

Identification of volatile compounds that contribute to the aroma of fresh palm oil and oxidized oil

Crude and oxidized palm oil were steam-distilled in vacuo to obtain volatile aroma compounds. The steam distillate was then extracted continuously using dichlorimethane and the extract was concentrated. The concentrate was analysed using gas chromatography; identification of compounds was by mass spectrometry. The steam disstillate from cride palm oil contained compounds such as 2,2,6-trimethylcyclohexanone, 3,3,5-trimethylcyclohex-2-enone, nonanone, nonanal, ethyl benzoate, linalol, trans-allo-ocimene, β-cyclocitral and ionol which were found to be associated with the aroma of fresh palm oil in the aromagram. 3,3,5-Trimethylcyclohex-2-enone was found to have a distinctive palmy, nutty aroma. C4-10 alkanals, C5,9,10 2-alkanones, C5,9 alkanols, C6-9 2-alkenals, C4-5 2-alkylfurans, C6,10 2,4-alkadiena ls, 2,2,6-trimethylcyclohexanone and γ-heptalactone were detected in oxidized palm oil.

Antioxidant activities of palm vitamin E with special reference to tocotrienols

The antioxidant activities of palm vitamin E and tocotrienols (T3) from Elaeis guineensis were investigated in model systems using distilled palm methyl ester (DME) and vitamin E-free RBD palm olein respectively. Oxidative stability was measured by the Rancimat method. Addition of 500 ppm vitamin E concentrate, which consisted of α-tocopherol (21.9%), α-tocotrienol (31.1%), γ-tocotrienol (37.7%) and δ-tocotrienol (9.3%) to DME was found to increase the oxidative stability of the substrate by a factor of about 2.6. Vitamin E-free RBD palm olein was found to be relatively unstable. Addition of 200-2000 ppm α-tocotrienol, γ-tocotrienol or δ-tocotrienol individually to vitamin E-free RBD palm olein showed that these compunds were effective antioxidants and that the activity increased with increasing concentration. At 200 ppm, a-tocotrienol improved the stability of the substrate by the factor of abount 6.3. The order of antioxidant activities of tocotrienols was found to be γ-T3 ≥ δ- T3 > α- T3 : γ-T3 had about twice the activity of α- T3.

Isolation and identification of wax esters in palm oil mill final effluent discharge

Thin layer chromatography of an extract of palm oil mill final effluent discharge revealed that the major components present are quite similar to those of crude palm oil. A band which had been previously reported and which contributed about 6% (w/w) of the extract was found to consist of long-chain wax esters ranging from molecular weight m/z 396 to m/z 508. Hexadecyl laurate and hexadecyl myristate were found to be the two major constituents; together they accounted for about 45% of the total was esters detected.

Palm Oil Abstracts

This article compiles abstracts of articles and papers related to palm oil/ oil palm and other oils and fats, published in journals, books, conference proceedings and other publications.