How to Extract Palm Oil

Ripe palm fruit.
Ripe palm fruit. (Image: palm tree fruit image by Maya Tairy from

Palm oil is extracted from one of two parts of the palm plant. Palm oil from the fruit of the palm plant is different from palm oil from kernels, or the nut of the fruit. There are even different health benefits. According to Dr. Ella Johannesen, palm fruit oil has high levels of vitamins and antioxidants that are essential to human health; these are not present in palm oil extracted from kernels. She also states that oil from the fruit stays fresh for a longer shelf life without preservatives.

Things You'll Need

  • Dried palm kernels
  • Nut cracker
  • Oven
  • Blender or hand mortar
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Pot
  • Jar with lid
  • Cheese cloth
  • Funnel

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Palm Kernel Oil Extraction

Clean dried kernels with water. Make sure they are free of any dirt or gravel.

Shell kernels with a nut cracker. Separate the shells from the kernels.

Nut cracker.
Nut cracker. (Image: nutcracker image by anna karwowska from

Heat the nuts in the oven at 350 degrees until roasted. Grind in a blender or pound with a hand mortar until it is a pasty consistency.

Mix the paste with water heated to a boil in a bowl. Boiling water separates the oil from the palm paste. The oil will float to the top. Let the water and paste cool to room temperature.

Skim the palm oil off the top of the cooled water with the spoon. Pour the oil in the jar and close tightly.

Palm Fruit Oil Extraction

Clean ripe palm fruit with water or steam.

Pull the fruit apart and remove nut or kernel. Each fruit will have one kernel.

Place the palm fruit in the hand mortar and crush to a pulp.

Hand mortar.
Hand mortar. (Image: pestle and mortar image by Alison Bowden from

Boil the pulp for 30 minutes. This serves to remove extra water from the pulp fibers.

Line the funnel with cheese cloth. Place the spout end of the funnel inside the jar. Pour the pulp though the cheese cloth to strain the palm oil from the pulp. Tightly seal the jar.

Tips & Warnings

  • Palm fruit is ripe when the outer skin turns dark red or black.
  • Palm oil made from kernels may be temperature sensitive and may require preservatives to stay fresh longer.


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