BINTULU, June 29 (Bernama) — The Primary Industries Ministry has urged palm oil industry players to invest more in downstream activities.

Minister Teresa Kok said such value-added activities could help make the industry remain globally competitive

She said with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board´s (MPOB) expertise, the ministry had conducted clinical tests, together with the country´s cancer centres and research institutes, on vitamin E from palm oil.

“These included studies on neuro-protection, breast cancer treatment, prostate cancer, colon cancer and cardiovascular disease, ” she said after opening Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd´s (SOP) phytonutrient plant at the Bintulu downstream complex here today.

Kok said SOP signed a an agreement with MPOB in 2014 on the commercialisation of palm phytonutrients using MPOB´s technology to produce carotene and vitamin E from palm oil.

“SOP Green Energy´s phytonutrient plant is Sarawak´s first integrated plant to carry out palm oil downstream activities, and began operations in 2017, ” she said, adding there are currently seven phytonutrient plants in the country.

SOP Green Energy´s products include tocotrienol (T3E brand) and carotene (Caro-A brand tocopherol) that meet US Food and Drug Administration regulations and have been used as natural food colouring, animal feed, supplements as well as in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

She said palm oil carotene has health-promoting properties, including cardio-protection, anti-angiogenesis, anti-atherosclerosis, anti-ageing and anti-diabetes, besides its provitamin A and anti-oxidant activity.

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