|Better Farming Series 24 - The Oil Palm (FAO - INADES, 1977, 40 p.)|
|Modern oil palm cultivation|
10. The clusters consist of spikelets.
The spikelets contain the fruit. Before getting the oil out of the fruit, the fruit must be separated from the spikelets.
11. The fruits of the oil palm consist of the following parts: Pulp: the pulp is yellow; when the pulp is crushed it yields palm oil. Seed: inside the shell of the seed is the kernel; when the kernel is crushed, It yields palm kernel oil. The kernel also contains the germ.
Fruit of the oil palm
12. The fruits of all oil palms are not the same.
· They are not all of the same size.
· The pulp is not equally thick in all of them.
· The shell is not equally thick.
· Some kernels have no shell at all.
There are different varieties of oil palm:
· aura palms have kernels with a thick shell;
· pisifera palms have kernels with no shell;
· tenera palms have kernels with a thin shell.
There are different varieties of oil palm
13. When oil palms bear many and large fruit clusters, they yield a lot of oil.
But to get a lot of oil, each fruit must also contain a lot of pulp, a shell that is not very thick, and a big kernel.
Research stations have developed varieties of oil palm which produce many large clusters with fruits that have a lot of pulp, a thin shell and a big kernel.
These are selected oil palms.
In order to get a lot of oil, the female flowers of a aura palm are fertilized with the pollen from a pisifera palm.
Once they are fertilized, the female flowers turn into fruits.
These fruits are of the tenera variety.
The fruits of the tenera palm have a lot of pulp, a thin shell and a big kernel.