Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Palm Oil

Palm Oil, a vegetable oil which is imported in very large quantities from West Africa, where it is obtained from the fruits of the oil-palm, Elceis guineensis. The fruits are crushed and boiled with water; the melted fatty matter rises to the surface and is skimmed off. It forms a dark yellow solid of a buttery consistency, slightly lighter than water (sp. gr. -945), and possessing a peculiar odour. Chemically it consists chiefly of palmitin, i.e. a compound of palmitic acid and glycerine, mixed with a little olein (q.v.). It may be purified somewhat and bleached by exposing it to a current of steam. It is used in the localities where it occurs as a substitute for butter; in Europe it finds much application in the manufacture of candles and soaps, and as a lubricant for heavy machinery, e.g. axles of railway trains, etc.