Category Archives: InPress

OIL PALM MALE MEIOSIS PROFILING: FROM FIELD OBSERVATION TO CYTOGENETICS ANALYSIS

Male meiosis is a principal process in microsporogenesis, important for male fertility and gamete viability in higher plants. This division ensures genome stability of sexually reproducing organisms and creates genome variation enabling diversity in a species. We present a structured profiling of male meiosis in the interspecific oil palm hybrid, Elaeis oleifera × Elaeis guineensis (OxG), for an in-depth understanding of the process. In the pollen mother cells (PMC), interaction between the parental genomes was observed in early prophase I, via genomic in situ hybridisation (GISH). At this meiosis I stage, the chromosome pairing revealed 16 complete bivalents, confirming the homologous pairing of each E. guineensis and E. oleifera chromosomes. Interestingly, we found that the E. guineensis and E. oleifera pollens had distinct morphologies, which represents another feature that differentiates the two species. This could also be used as a basis diagnostic tool to evaluate sterility in oil palm interspecific hybrids.

PREDICTION OF ACID, PEROXIDE AND TBA VALUES OF HEAT-TREATED PALM OIL USING A PARTIAL LEAST SQUARES–ORDINARY LEAST SQUARES MODEL BASED ON FOURIERTRANSFORM INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY

Palm oil is widely used for frying food and is often used for repeated frying up to 40 hr or even longer. Frying causes a gradual quality decrease during heating due to fat oxidation or hydrolysis. The quality of fats and oils is commonly monitored by acid, peroxide and thiobarbituric acid values (AV, PV and TBAV, respectively). This study aimed to use a partial least squares–ordinary least squares (PLS-OLS) model obtained from fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy to predict AV, PV and TBAV values of heat-treated palm oil. Commercial palm oil was heated at 180oC for 72 hr. The multivariate mathematical models to predict AV, PV and TBAV were generated from the percentages of absorbance intensity of significant wavenumbers based on FT-IR readings (721.4 cm–1, 871.8 cm–1, 968.3 cm–1, 1033.9 cm–1, 1095.6 cm-1, 1377.2 cm–1, 1462 cm–1, 1751.4 cm–1, 2731.2 cm–1, 2839.2 cm–1 and 3005.1 cm–1). The PLS-OLS mathematical model satisfactorily predicted both AV and PV for palm oil samples heated up to 72 hr (R2 = 0.962 and 0.857, respectively), whereas for TBAV, the time was 58 hr (R2 = 0.845). This approach provides an alternative to monitoring palm oil quality during frying instead of the conventional methods in which the analytical procedures are time-consuming.

NEURAL NETWORKS METHOD IN PREDICTING OIL PALM FFB YIELDS FOR THE PENINSULAR STATES OF MALAYSIA

Reliable and accurate predictions in oil palm production can provide the basis for management decisions of budgeting, storage, distribution, and marketing. Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Non-linear Autoregressive Exogenous Neural Network (NARX) models were developed based on 19 440 data set of 15 inputs variables, namely, percentage of mature area and percentage of immature area, rainfall, rainy days, humidity, radiation, temperature, surface wind speed, evaporation and cloud cover, ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter of less than 10 microns in size (PM10) for predicting oil palm fresh fruit bunch (FFB). The results were validated with an independent validation dataset. Results showed that NARX models performed more accurately with multiple coefficients of determination (R2) reached 97% and mean square errors (MSE) between 0.0104%-0.0665%, besides being an easy-to-use tool. Generally, NARX models proved to give more accurate predictions than the predictions of common ANN and Multi Linear Regression (MLR) models. Finally, 15-10-4-1 is chosen as the architecture of NARX for the states of Kedah, Kelantan, Perak, Pahang, Selangor, and Terengganu. The 15-7-4-1 is the best architecture of NARX for the state of Melaka and Pulau Pinang, while 15-13-4-1 architecture is for the state of Johor. This study showed that all of these architectures gave high accuracy with acceptable MSE values.

IS THERE A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR WILDLIFE IN OIL PALM PLANTATIONS IN MALAYSIA?

The oil palm scene is often highly debated and has been at the centre of controversy in the past decade. Dubbed the ‘cash crop’, many Third World tropical countries have seized the opportunity to mobilise oil palm at landscape levels to fuel the economy. However, many of these tropical countries are also rich in biodiversity and are home to many endemics and species of conservation importance. While it tackles economic issues like poverty alleviation, it comes at the cost of environmental destruction. Here we take a look at the potential values of forest fragments and wildlife-friendly practices in oil palm landscapes and their roles in conservation in Malaysia. As the demand for oil palm and its products are most likely to continue to grow, there is a need to look at how the relevant stakeholders will sustainably manage the increasing demand while improving biodiversity management.

PRINCIPAL COMPONENT ANALYSIS (PCA) EVALUATION OF LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHYMASS SPECTROMETRY (LC-MS) DATASETS OF Ganoderma boninense INTRACELLULAR METABOLITES

Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) has become a powerful analytical technique for studying broad coverage of chemical datasets describing complex biological systems and events. In order to interpret the underlying information in such datasets, multivariate analysis method such as principal component analysis (PCA) is crucial for multiple sample comparisons and multivariate data reduction. PCA has been used for evaluation of large-scale datasets derived from LC-MS analysis of fungal metabolites for many applications. Therefore, in this study, we describe on PCA as a descriptive tool to cope with large LC-MS datasets of intracellular metabolites of oil palm basal stem rot (BSR) fungal pathogen, Ganoderma boninense from in vitro liquid culture system. The results revealed a classification and grouping of G. boninense intracellular metabolites according to time trend, where the primary metabolites, i.e. glucose, gluconic acid, mannitol and malic acid were found differentially expressed in G. boninense. The presented findings suggest that the PCA model provides a general approach for handling, analysis and interpretation of large LC-MS datasets to reveal time-dependent changes of intracellular metabolites that may indicate G. boninense developmental process in vitro.

BLENDED PALM FRACTIONS AS CONFECTIONERY FATS: A PRELIMINARY STUDY

The study looked into the mouldability of cocoa butter alternative (CBA) from blended palm fractions namely palm mid fraction (PMF) IV 45, palm kernel oil (PKO) and palm stearin (POs) IV 33 and IV 14 for the production of chocolate bar. PMF, PKO and POs IV 33 and IV 14 were blended in eight different optimised ratios based on solid fat content (SFC) response of more or close to 50% at 20°C, SFC of less than 10% at 37°C and SFC of less than 5% at 40°C to produce a melt in the mouth and mouldable plain chocolate bar. Mouldability and snappability of the chocolate bar were the main parameters of the study. Physicochemical properties of the fat blends namely the fatty acid composition (FAC), triacylglycerol composition (TAG), solid fat content (SFC), crystallisation rate at isothermal temperature of 5ºC, 10ºC and 20ºC, thermal behaviour, polymorphism, crystal morphology and compatibility test with cocoa butter (CB) for selected fat were also determined. Fat F blend with 91% PMF, 1% PKO, 5% POs IV 33 and 3% POs IV 14 showed the highest SFC (47%) at 20ºC and was able to be moulded and demoulded at 10ºC by 45 min. It has the highest rupture tension (105.28 gfcm-2) and breaking force (5501 gf) at 10ºC. The composition of oleic acid, linoleic acid, total monounsaturated fatty acid, crystal morphology (density) as well as SFC profile at 20°C and crystallisation rate profile at 5°C, 10°C (after 40th min) and 20°C (before 35th min) of fat F were comparable with CB while other FAC, TAG, thermal behaviour and polymorphism were dissimilar to CB. Fat F, 10%-30% was observed to be compatible (no eutectic) with CB and therefore, has the potential as fat for chocolate bar. The addition of 10%-30% of fat F to CB increased the SFC to 57% at 20°C. Fat F (30%) with CB could be demoulded by 30 min and produced snappability (breaking force) of 5032.71±85.91 gf at 20°C after one day stabilisation period. Palm-based fat blend having 91% PMF, 1% PKO, 5% POs IV 33 and 3% POs IV 14 and CB has the potential to be used as alternative fat for chocolate bar which can eventually benefit the confectionery industry.

IS PALM MID FRACTION A HEALTHIER CHOICE AS A COCOA BUTTER EQUIVALENT?

Palm mid fraction (PMF) is a fraction of palm oil rich in 1, 3-dipalmitoyl-2- oleoylglycerol (POP) triacylglycerol (TAG) that is obtained through re-fractionation of either palm olein or palm stearin. POP-, 1(3)-1, 3 distearoyl-2-oleoylglycerol (SOS)- and triolein (OOO)- type of fats have different melting characteristics that may affect postprandial lipid and glucose metabolism. We aimed to study the effects of palmitic, stearic or oleic acid situated at the sn-1 and sn-3 positions of edible fats on postprandial lipemia, glucose and insulin responses. A randomised, double-blind crossover (3 x 3 arms) orthogonal Latin-square design was used. A total of 36 healthy adults received three different test muffins, each containing 53 g of test fat from palm mid fraction (PMF as POP-rich fat), shea stearin (SS as SOS-rich fat) or high-oleic sunflower oil (HOSF as OOO-rich fat) plus a low-fat milkshake in random order separated by two weeks. No significant differences (P>0.05) were observed between the three test meals for postprandial responses in plasma total cholesterol, Lp(a), glucose and insulin levels. However, plasma TAG levels were found significantly higher (P<0.05) in PMF- and HOSF- subjects compared with SS- subjects after 90 min. Plasma C-peptide levels were found lower (P<0.05) in the SS-subjects compared to the PMF- and HOSF- subjects. The results suggested that dietary fats containing palmitic (PMF) and oleic acid (HOSF) at the sn-1, 3 positions of the TAG backbone exert similar postprandial lipid and glucose responses compared with that of a stearic acid-rich sn-1,3 dietary fat (SS). In the food industry, there is demand for edible fats with different forms of TAG which can serve as a cocoa butter equivalent (CBE) i.e. as an important alternative for chocolates and other confectionary products.

IDENTIFICATION AND DETERMINATION OF THE SPECTRAL REFLECTANCE PROPERTIES OF LIVE AND DEAD BAGWORMS, Metisa plana WALKER (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) USING VIS/ NIR SPECTROSCOPY

The bagworm is one of main and serious leaf eating insect pest threats of the oil palm plantations in Malaysia. The economic impact from a moderate bagworm attack of 10%-50% leaf damage may cause 43% yield loss. The population of bagworms without control often increases to above its threshold limits, thereby causing a serious outbreak. Monitoring and detection of the oil palm bagworm population is required to ensure proper planning of any control actions in the infested areas. Hence, a study on the determination of the spectral signature of the bagworm species of Metisa plana Walker was initiated by using Visible/Near Infrared (Vis/NIR) spectroscopy. Live and dead bagworm spectral properties were determined under the Vis/ NIR wavelength regions, 350-1050 nm to provide specific infrared detector and band filter for development of an automated counter of the bagworms. The results showed that the live and dead bagworms had specific reflectance spectra at a specific wavelength in the NIR range spectral, ranging from 1032-1051 nm and these were statistically confirmed using the Student’s t-Test with two tailed distributions. A principal component analysis (PCA) resulted that the first two principal components, F1 and F2 have eigenvalues greater than 1, at 2.11 and 1.24, respectively. Using a Boxplot Quantiles, the results showed that the lowest and highest means of the reflectance spectra observed for the live bagworms were approximately 3.43% and 26.42%, respectively. Meanwhile, for the dead bagworms, the lowest and highest reflectance spectra observed were 4.02% and 34.29%, respectively. These spectral data were important to determine the suitable infrared (IR) instrumentation for detection of every stage of the live and dead bagworms. This information will be useful, important and crucial for development of an automated detector of insect pest in the future.

BREEDING Virescens OIL PALM

Recent discoveries of five independent but closely related nucleotide mutations that result in the virescens fruit type in oil palm, and their diagnostic markers, have renewed interest to breed for the trait. In virescens palms, the immature fruits are green, ripening to a bright orange, whereas in the common nigrescens palms, the immature fruits are a deep purple, almost black, and ripen to red with purple tinges. Ripe virescens bunches are more easily spotted, especially at distance and through the lower fronds and epiphytes on the trunk, thus having fewer missed in harvesting. Correspondingly, unripe and under-ripe virescens fruit bunches would be apparent, compared to their nigrescens counterparts, during fruit milling. While diagnostic markers will improve the breeding efficiency and save on time and costs, starting with the right virescens palms will ensure that the trait is not gained at the expense of yield.

METHANOLIC EXTRACTION OF FREE FERULIC ACID FROM OIL PALM

Ferulic acid, a hydroxycinnamic acid, is known to exhibit anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a valuable compound for various applications. Study was conducted to investigate the extraction of free ferulic acid (ferulic acid that is not linked to lignin or other biopolymers) in the oil palm fruits, pressed fibre, empty fruit bunches, as well as its leaves, termed as frond. The extraction of free ferulic acid from these palm components was carried out using an alcoholic solution at various sample to solvent ratios. With the exception of fresh sterilised fruits, varying the sample to solvent ratio did not seem to have significant effect on the amount of ferulic acid extracted. Similarly, except for empty fruit bunch and sterilised fruits, the amount of ferulic acid extracted was not affected by the conditions of the samples (fresh or dried) prior to extraction. The free ferulic acid content in oil palm fruits, pressed fibre, empty fruit bunches and oil palm frond ranged from 230-670 mg kg-1.

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF A MOTORISED PALM OIL EXTRACTOR WITH QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF THE PALM OIL EXTRACTED IN COMPARISON WITH A MANUAL VERTICAL PRESS

Traditional methods of palm oil extraction from palm fruits (Elaeis guineensis) produce low quality and quantity of oil. This study sought to design, construct and test a motorised palm oil extractor with evaluation of the oil extracted in comparison with a manual vertical press. The performance parameters tested were oil extraction ratio (OER), oil extraction efficiency (OEE), machine discharge efficiency (MDE) and oil extraction losses (OEL) while the tested physiochemical parameters were free fatty acids (FFA), iodine value (IV), saponification value (SV) and peroxide value (PV). There were significant differences (p≤0.05) in OER (16.20% and 13.53%), OEE (77.13% and 64.44%) and OEL (18.30% and 24.76%) while the MDE (81.70% and 73.13%) were not significantly different (p>0.05) for the motorised and vertical press, respectively. No significant differences were observed for IV and SV while FFA showed significant differences (p≤0.05). The PV was not detected for both methods. A motorised palm oil extractor produced oil of higher quality and had higher performance efficiencies as compared to the manual vertical press. The novelty of this work was in producing an efficient equipment that is affordable to a smallholder farmer which extracts palm oil of high quality.

PRELIMINARY STUDY ON EFFICIENCY OF DIFFERENT TIME AND LIGHT SOURCE IN LIGHT TRAPS FOR CAPTURING POPULATION OF ADULT OIL PALM BUNCH MOTH, Tirathaba mundella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

The oil palm bunch moth, Tirathaba mundella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is a pest of oil palm especially those planted on peat soil. The pest has a short life cycle, approximately 30 days (eggs four days, larvae 16 days and pupae 10 days) and therefore, its population build up rapidly and causing severe damage to the oil palm when proper control is not in place. A research was conducted to determine the efficiency of different design of the light traps in capturing the adult bunch moths and also, aimed to observe the moths’ behaviour in terms of the night flight pattern in the areas with high level of infestation. The study was carried out in two oil palm estates in Sarawak; Location A, Daro and Location B, Sri Aman, from 17-19 July 2018 and 23-25 January 2019, respectively. Six light traps (Location A) and three light traps (Location B) were tested. Night flight activities were recorded for three different intervals; Interval 1 (1925-2125), Interval 2 (2130-2330) and Interval 3 (2335-0135). The result showed that, light Trap 6 was found to be the most attractive in Location A, capturing significantly higher number of moths (mean=38.6667, p<0.05). Whereas, in Location B, Trap 2 recorded the highest number of total individual moths captured but, not significantly different from other designs (mean=18, p>0.05). In terms of the moths’ behaviour, the third interval showed significantly greater number of individual female moths captured compared to the other two intervals in Location A (mean=16, p<0.05). However, in Location B, it was found that the amount of captured female moths in the earlier time intervals (Intervals 1 and 2) was significantly greater (mean=8 and 9.6667 individuals, p<0.05) than final time interval (two individuals), which was opposite to the observations made in Location A. The cause of such behaviour is still unknown and thorough study is needed. Thus, in future study, the data as such additional climatic parameters need to be incorporated (e.g. ambient temperature, humidity, moon phase and wind speed) for further understanding of the behaviours and preferences of the pest. Furthermore, the study also indicates potential application of light trapping as one of the alternatives to the oil palm pest management.

QUANTITATIVE APPROACH FOR IRRIGATION REQUIREMENT OF OIL PALM: CASE STUDY IN CHUPING, NORTHERN MALAYSIA

The right decision is needed before the irrigation project starts because it is risky, costly and required a sitespecific approach. The study aims to estimate oil palm irrigation water demand by using FAO-CROPWAT model. Study was conducted in Chuping Region, Northern Peninsular of Malaysia. Four points were selected to represent North, East, West and South for soil sampling. The samples were sent to a laboratory to measure the water content after pressure applied at 0, 1, 10, 33 and 1500 kPa. Total available water holding capacity was found at 105-227 mm for 100 cm soil depth and the lowest value was selected to be used in FAO-CROPWAT model, developed by Land and Water Development Division of Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Prior to that, history of 14 years of monthly meteorological data were collected and serve as climatic data for potential evapotranspiration calculation. Based on the simulation, crop evapotranspiration (ETc) and irrigation requirement (IR) was 1175 and 255.2 mm yr–1 respectively. Total net irrigation was concluded at 132 mm yr–1 with the assumption of 80% irrigation efficiency and 5.0 mm of irrigation input. Through this study, FAO-CROPWAT found to be a suitable approach to estimate crop water requirement (CWR) for oil palm and simulate irrigation scheduling for the entire year. It can help to strategise the management plan prior to any irrigation project design and increase potential for good economic return.

XYLAN RECOVERY FROM DILUTE NITRIC ACID PRETREATED OIL PALM FROND BAGASSE USING FRACTIONAL FACTORIAL DESIGN

Pretreatment enhances bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass by disrupting and changing the properties of its material. This work is intended to examine the influence of several variables involved in the recovery of xylan from oil palm frond bagasse (OPFB) in the pretreatment of diluted nitric acid. Through a fractional factorial design of 25−1 the temperature variables ranged from 37°C–90°C, time of reaction varied from 6–24 hr, solid loading ranged from 5%–20%, concentration of acid changed from 0.01%–1.0%, and agitation between yes or no were evaluated. As much as 27.63% of xylan successfully recovered at mild condition and it was completely hydrolysed as the pretreatment condition increased. This study found solid loading of 5% and acid concentration of 0.01% at 37°C for 24 hr pretreatment without agitation were best to maximise xylan recovery and minimise lignin content simultaneously. Temperature was the most important factor studied for the recovery of xylan with a contribution of 29.34%. The findings suggest that studying the condition influencing acid pretreatment is crucial towards improving pretreatment process

USING TERRAIN ALGORITHMS ON A DIGITAL ELEVATION MODEL TO EVALUATE YIELD VARIABILITY IN OIL PALM

Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) plantations face strong pressure to improve fertiliser-use efficiency. Digital soil mapping methods based on topographic analysis using globally-available digital elevation models (DEM) provide an efficient means of quantifying topography-driven variability of soil properties within oil palm plantations. The shutter radar topography mission (SRTM) global digital elevation model (GDEM) was used as the basis for modeling topography across an individual oil palm plantation. Terrain algorithms were used to model terrain attributes and generate continuous soil property maps along topographic soil classes in conjunction with georeferenced soil samples as model inputs. The resulting raster layers of soil property values were evaluated for mean error and their correlation to yield variability across the plantation. Modified catchment area (MCA), an iterative measure of a landscape position represented by a grid cell’s propensity to lose or gain soil water, was found to have a strong effect on yield, suggesting that soil moisture distribution was an important driver of yield variability in this system

SOIL CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) EFFLUX RATE AND OIL PALM YIELD FROM DIFFERENT PEAT TYPES IN SARAWAK, MALAYSIA

Tropical peatlands have different characteristics as compared to temperate peatlands in terms of organic materials and topography. It is important to understand the soil characteristics for improving crop management practices. A study was conducted to investigate the effects of different types of peat on soil carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions and oil palm yield in Sarawak. The study area was classified as Naman (Oa) and Kenyana (Oawu) series using the Malaysian Unified Classification of Organic Soils (MUCOS). Soil CO2 efflux was determined by using a portable CO2 analyser at monthly intervals from eight observational plots setup in each 10 ha study plot. The oil palm fresh fruit bunch (FFB) yield was recorded since the first year of harvest (i.e. after about 30 months field planting). Results showed that the average soil CO2 efflux was the highest in Naman series plot (4.89±0.36 µmol CO2 m-2 s-1) compared to Kenyana series plot (4.44±0.37 µmol CO2 m-2 s-1). However, FFB yield was recorded 40% higher at Naman plot compared to Kenyana plot. Higher FFB yield in Naman plot was related to its soil consisting of sapric materials that have more nutrients available for the crop, while Kenyana plot consisted of sapric materials together with undecomposed wood that might hinder the palm growth. This study suggests that different types of peat have significant effects on oil palm yield and soil CO2 emissions. The site-specific and peat soil management based on its characteristics is important for oil palm growth and performance especially for enhancing FFB yield and improving environmental management.

ECONOMIC INJURY LEVEL OF OIL PALM BUNCH MOTH, Tirathaba mundella WALKER FOR PEST MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS IN OIL PALM PRODUCTION

Oil palm bunch moth, Tirathaba mundella Walker is a notorious bunch feeding pest typically among oil
palm aged three 3-7 year-old planted on peat. In order to manage the pest, an economic injury level (EIL)
for the pest needs to be determined which could assist in decision making if a control tactic is justified.
In order to determine the EIL, the percentage of fertile oil palm fruitlets and oil to bunch content were
determined for fruit bunches with different pest infestation severity. The severity was characterised based on
the mean larvae present in fruit bunches and male inflorescences. The study found that the mean larvae count
was positively correlated with the economic losses and number of parthenocarpic fruitlets. The overall oil
extraction rate (OER) of moderate and severely infested fruit bunches was significantly reduced as compared
to clean fruit bunches. Based on average crude palm oil (CPO) market price and production per hectare, an
EIL for Tirathaba mundella (T. mundella) was able to be estimated. This study suggested the EIL at 10%
of oil palms per hectare moderately or severely infested. The finding of this study would benefit future pest
management practice in oil palm plantation established on peatland.

QUALITY OF COMMERCIAL PALM-BASED COOKING OIL PACKED IN PLASTIC POUCH AND POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE (PET) BOTTLE

The study compared the quality of palm cooking oil sold in two types of packaging in Malaysia; plastic pouch (16 samples) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle (9 samples). The study was conducted because consumer perceived that the quality of palm cooking oil in plastic pouch is lower than in the PET bottle due to its lower price. Cooking oil in plastic pouch is subsidised by the Government of Malaysia and as such, it is sold at a cheaper price compared to bottled cooking oil. Therefore, comparison of the initial quality in terms of free fatty acid (FFA), fatty acid composition (FAC), triacylglycerol composition (TAG), total vitamin E, iodine value (IV), cloud point, smoke point, colour, polar compound, polymer compound and oxidative stability index (OSI) of the commercial palm cooking oils were conducted between the cooking oil in plastic pouch and PET bottle. The quality parameters of average FFA, FAC (oleic, linoleic, palmitic and stearic acids), IV and colour (red and yellow) of cooking oil in both packagings met the specifications or guidelines by either Malaysian Standard (MS) 682:2004, MS 816:2007 or Palm Oil Refiners’ Association (PORAM) specifications/guidelines. However, quality parameters of TAG, total vitamin E, cloud point, smoke point, polar compound, polymer compound and OSI are not specified in any of the standards above. After conducting a 2-sample t-test to detect differences of cooking oil in both packagings, quality parameters of average FFA, FAC (oleic acid), total vitamin E, colour (red, yellow, neutral and blue), polar compound and polymer compound were comparable between cooking oil in plastic pouch and PET bottle. However, the FAC (palmitic acid, stearic acid and linoleic acid), TAG [UUU (unsaturated-unsaturated-unsaturated) and SUU (saturated-unsaturated-unsaturated)], IV and cloud point quality of cooking oil in PET bottle were better than in plastic pouch in which FAC (stearic acid and linoleic acid), TAG [UUU (unsaturated-unsaturated-unsaturated) and SUU (saturated-unsaturated-unsaturated)] and IV in PET bottle showed higher value while and FAC (palmitic acid) and cloud point showed lower value than plastic pouch in this study. Notwithstanding this, the smoke point and OSI quality of commercial palm cooking oil in plastic pouch was better than in PET bottle, having higher values than plastic pouch. TAG [SUS (saturated-unsaturated-saturated)] of commercial cooking oil in plastic pouch was also higher than in PET bottle but did not necessarily provide indication of good quality cooking oil.

POTENTIAL OF FUNCTIONALISED CELLULOSE FROM OIL PALM BIOMASS AS NITROGEN AND PHOSPHORUS BASED NUTRIENT ADSORBENT – A REVIEW

By the year 2020, oil palm biomass in Malaysia is projected to reach between 85-110 million tonnes per year. Instead of disposing off such a massive amount of biomass as waste, the oil palm biomass could be converted into value-added products. Since lignocellulosic materials could be a suitable adsorbent for nitrogen and phosphorus-based nutrients from aquaculture effluent based on studies conducted by other countries, it would be an excellent opportunity to monetise oil palm biomass for a similar purpose as well. There are many well-established extraction methods introduced by researchers. However, only a handful of the extraction method involved the use of green chemicals. This paper provides a review of the extraction and modification for oil palm biomass towards becoming a potential adsorbent for nitrogen and phosphorus-based nutrients.

OMICS PLATFORM TECHNOLOGIES FOR DISCOVERY AND UNDERSTANDING THE SYSTEMS BIOLOGY OF OIL PALM

Palm oil is the leading vegetable oil in terms of volume in the world market. Indonesia and Malaysia are the top producers and exporters of the commodity. The global production of palm oil reached 73.5 million tonnes in the period 2018/2019, up from approximately 70.5 million tonnes in 2017/2018. Oil palm is the most productive crop in the world being 10 times more productive than soyabean which produces only about 0.45 t oil per hectare. Nonetheless, the industry is continuously under pressure to improve productivity and sustainability. This will require concerted innovations across the entire palm oil supply chain and fully committed research efforts including upstream technologies to expedite crop improvement. At the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), research efforts at development of tools for improving oil palm traits by genetic modification have been augmented more recently with omics-based approaches and all of these innovations are synchronised towards improved product quality. Omics is a multi-disciplinary field encompassing genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. Each of these fields provides an opportunity to understand and view oil palm biology from a global perspective, enabling accelerated discoveries for improved productivity and the development of new and improved varieties. An integrative omics approach promises great value in both phenotyping and diagnostic analyses. With the current technological capabilities, metabolomics is also being exploited for identifying unique chemical fingerprints to detect product contamination and adulteration in oil palm. This effort is actively being conducted in order to position the oil palm industry to meet and optimise the delivery of the highest quality oil with minimum environmental and social concerns. In this review, an overview is given on the current knowledge and progress made in oil palm research, focusing on the application of omics strategies and their integration with high-throughput technologies for oil palm crop improvement, development of geographical traceability system and ensuring that palm oil is free from residual oil contamination.