Palm Oil on the Edge

Nutrients. 2019 Aug 26;11(9):2008. doi: 10.3390/nu11092008.


Internationally recognized Spanish experts in the food industry, nutrition, toxicology, sustainability, and veterinary science met in Madrid on July 2018 to develop a consensus about palm oil (PO) as a food ingredient. Their aim was to provide a useful, evidence-based point of reference about PO. Scientific evidence about the role of PO in food safety, nutrition and sustainability was analyzed. Main conclusions were: (1) RSPO foundation responded to the environmental impact of palm crops. The Amsterdam Declaration pursues the use of 100% sustainable PO in Europe by 2020. Awareness about choosing sustainable products will help to maintain local economies and environments in the producing countries; (2) evidence shows that a moderate intake of PO within a healthy diet presents no risks for health. No evidence justifies any change fat intake recommendations; (3) food industry is interested in assuring safe, sustainable and high-quality products. The use of certified sustainable PO is increasing; and (4) there is no evidence associating PO consumption and higher cancer risk, incidence or mortality in humans. Tolerable daily intake (TDI) for toxic contaminants (2-and 3-monochloropropanediols (MCPDs), glycidyl esters (GEs)) have been established by JECFA and EFSA. Consequently, the European Commission has modified the Contaminants Regulation for GEs and it is still working on 3-MCPDs'.

Keywords: 3MCPD; cardiovascular disease; communication; food industry; palm oil; palmitic acid; sustainability.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arecaceae / chemistry*
  • Arecaceae / growth & development
  • Consensus
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Crops, Agricultural
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Food Contamination
  • Food Supply
  • Food-Processing Industry
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Palm Oil / administration & dosage*
  • Palm Oil / adverse effects
  • Palm Oil / isolation & purification
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors


  • Palm Oil