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tent at varying temperatures, of refined, bleached, and deodorized (RBD) palm oil and its fractions (8-10).

Table 2 shows the content of the principal minor components, namely, the vitamin E and sterols (11-13) in refined palm oil.

It is of interest to point out that palm oil is unusually rich in the vitamin E tocotrienols (unsaturated analogues of tocopherol), with the tocotrienols constituting between 70-80% of the total vitamin E content as opposed to other vegetable oils in which tocopherols are the predominant vitamin E species (12).

The sterols identified in palm oil consist of cholesterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, and sitosterol, but their levels are considerably reduced after refining. Palm oil, like other vegetable oils, is generally regarded as cholesterol-free, although a level of 2 ppm has been reported in the refined oil from the initial levels of 7-13 ppm in the crude oil (9).

Table 2. Vitamin E and Sterols in Refined Palm Oil

Mean/range in ppm

Table 2. Vitamin E and Sterols in Refined Palm Oil

Mean/range in ppm

Vitamin E

716 (559-902)

«-Tocopherol

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