oil palm

oil palm
an African feather palm, Elaeis guineensis, the fruits of which yield palm oil.

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(Elaeis guineensis) 

      African tree cultivated as a source of oil in West and Central Africa, where it originated, and in Malaysia and Indonesia, and as an ornamental tree in many subtropical areas; or, the American oil palm, Elaeis oleifera, originating in Central and South America and sometimes cultivated under the erroneous name Elaeis melanococca, the oil of which was probably used for making candles by the early American colonizers.

      The African tree is the more important commercially. It has many tiny flowers crowded on short branches that develop into a large cluster of oval fruits 1.5 inches (4 cm) long, black when ripe, and red at the base. The outer fleshy portion of the fruit is steamed to destroy the lipolytic enzymes and then pressed to recover the palm oil, which is highly coloured from the presence of carotenes. The kernels of the fruit are also pressed in mechanical screw presses to recover palm-kernel oil, which is chemically quite different from the oil from the flesh of the fruit.

      Palm oil is used in making soaps, candles, and lubricating greases and in processing tinplate and coating iron plates. Palm-kernel oil is used in manufacturing such edible products as margarine, chocolate confections, and pharmaceuticals. The cake residue after kernel oil is extracted is a cattle feed.

      The American oil palm resembles the African in flowers and fruit, although it has a quite different overall appearance. The trunk of the American oil palm creeps along the ground, and its leaves are flat, while the African tree has a straight trunk and leaflets attached at various angles.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oil palm — African Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis) Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae …   Wikipedia

  • Oil palm — Oil Oil (oil), n. [OE. oile, OF. oile, F. huile, fr. L. oleum; akin to Gr. ?. Cf. {Olive}.] Any one of a great variety of unctuous combustible substances, more viscous than and not miscible with water; as, olive oil, whale oil, rock oil, etc.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oil palm — n. a tropical African palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) whose seeds yield palm oil …   English World dictionary

  • oil palm — noun pinnate leaved palms of the genus Elaeis having dense clusters of crowded flowers and bright red fruit and yielding high quality palm oils • Hypernyms: ↑feather palm • Hyponyms: ↑African oil palm, ↑Elaeis guineensis, ↑American oil palm,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • oil palm — gvinėjinė alyvpalmė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Arekinių šeimos aliejinis, vaistinis augalas (Elaeis guineensis), paplitęs Afrikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Elaeis guineensis; Elaeis melanococca angl. African oil palm; oil palm vok.… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • oil palm — alyvpalmė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Arekinių (Arecaceae) šeimos augalų gentis (Elaeis). atitikmenys: lot. Elaeis angl. oil palm vok. Ölpalme rus. масличная пальма lenk. olejowiec ryšiai: susijęs terminas – tikroji alyvpalmė susijęs… …   Dekoratyvinių augalų vardynas

  • oil palm — n. tropical West African palm tree bearing fruit and seeds from which palm oil is extracted …   English contemporary dictionary

  • oil palm — noun a tropical West African palm which is the chief source of palm oil. [Elaeis guineensis: several cultivars.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • oil palm — /ˈɔɪl pam/ (say oyl pahm) noun an African palm, Elaeis guineensis, widely cultivated for its fruits which yield palm oil …   Australian-English dictionary

  • oil palm — noun Date: 1858 an African pinnate leaved palm (Elaeis guineensis) cultivated for its clustered fruit whose flesh and seeds yield oil …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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