Improving sustainability of palm oil production by increasing oil extraction rate: a review

Chien Lye Chew, Chun Yong Ng, Wai Onn Hong, Ta Yeong Wu, Yee-Ying Lee, Liang Ee Low, Pei San Kong, Eng Seng Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Palm oil is the world’s most-produced vegetable oil that is serving as an important source of food and energy for many developing and underdeveloped countries. The global demand for palm oil will continue to rise, owing to the growing population and economy. Presently, tremendous efforts have been devoted to improving the sustainability of palm oil production. One strategy is to improve the oil extraction rate (OER) during the milling process. The average OER in Malaysia has remained stagnant between 19 and 21% for the past 40 years. Based on the world production of palm oil in 2018, approximately 3 million tonnes of additional palm oil can be produced globally with a 1% increase in OER. In this paper, the current status of the palm oil milling process and the factors affecting the OER are discussed. Subsequently, the methods to improve the OER are reviewed. Furthermore, the importance of producing good quality oil whilst improving the OER is emphasised. In conclusion, some of the methods reviewed have the potential for industrial application and they warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-586
Number of pages14
JournalFood and Bioprocess Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Oil extraction
  • Oil palm
  • Oil recovery
  • Palm oil
  • Palm oil mill
  • Sustainability

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