A palm oil producer grows oil palms or coconut palms and extracts the oil from their fruit. Producers of this oil are located in tropical regions around the world, though most of the world's palm oil comes from Indonesia and Malaysia. The oil is extracted from the fruit of the palm tree through a process that changes very little from producer to producer. Once the oil has been produced, it is sold to various companies that use it either in food products or as a biofuel.
Palm farms are found in many nations in the tropics. Coconut and oil palms grow best in warm regions that receive a lot of rainfall. As a result, tropical nations such as Columbia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, and Ghana are some of the world's top palm oil producers. In many cases, refining the fruit of the palm trees into oil is done in a processing plant near the palm plantation.
Once the fruit has been collected from the palm trees, it is processed by the palm oil producer into usable oil. In order to extract the oil from the pulp of the fruit, the pulp is pressed until the oil is forced out. This can be done using a cold press, in which the pulp is left at air temperature, or it can be done after boiling the fruit which allows the oil to be pressed out of the palm more easily, though it often creates an inferior product. Palm kernel oil is usually made by heating, crushing, and then chemically extracting the oil from the seed of the oil palm.
After the crude oil is extracted from the plant, it is refined by the palm oil producer before it can be used in various products. The oil is heated, filtered, and combined with other liquids at various points in the refining process. At the completion of this process, the inedible portions of the oil have been extracted and the impurities eliminated.
The last part of a palm oil producer's job is to send the oil to other industries, mainly the food industry. Much of the oil is exported overseas where countries such as the United States and various European nations use it in processed food. Palm oil may also be used by the biofuel industry.