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Palm Oil & Palm Kernel Oil Production

Hey Everyone, welcome (back) to my blog!

Today we're still in Warri and we’re exploring Itsekiri culture!

Warri is one of the many places in Southern Nigeria that is known for palm oil production. Oil palm fruits are a vital part of Itsekiri food so I thought it would be great to see how the fruit is processed into oil.

Palm oil is a sore topic for me because I recently learned that West Africans are the traditional creators of palm oil but we are nowhere near the world’s largest exporter of it. Palm oil is used for many things, including soap and other household cleaning agents.

However, in our part of Africa, when we think of palm oil, we think of the many foods we use palm oil to make. So, let’s discover how palm oil is processed!

At about 9 in the morning, I arrived at Pamaano Farms Ltd to see how they work there. The journey was about an hour outside Warri but well worth it. I explained what I wanted to see to the manager, who graciously took me through the entire process.

We started off at the back of the factory, where they have a plantation of oil palm trees. Oil palm trees take about four years to grow and produce fruits for up to 30 years after that. When the palm fruits are ripe, the palm fruit stems are plucked. `They are left out for two to three days to ferment. After which, the stems are taken to a machine to remove the fruits from the stems. Next, the stems and fruits are taken to a sorter to be sorted separately.

After the separation, the fruits are boiled to soften them. When they are softer, the palm fruits are easily crushed to squeeze out the oil. Lastly, the palm oil is boiled to get the finished product!

You can watch the entire process on my Youtube here:

After seeing the process of making palm oil, the manager also asked me to follow him so he could show me what they do with the palm kernel. When the palm fruits are squeezed to get palm oil, it leaves the palm kernel shell and fruit residue. I was so surprised because I didn’t know they used palm kernels for anything. Clearly, there's a lot I'm learning as I'm sharing. It was just something I saw on the ground as a child and would break and eat. It is truly amazing how this small fruit has so many uses.

So let's make some palm kernel oil! Firstly, the mix of squeezed fruits and Palm kernels is taken to a machine to be separated. The squeezed fruit is also used for other things but the manager didn’t explain that process or rather I forgot to ask. Either way, I was still so amazed at how many uses palm fruits have.

Secondly, the palm kernel is broken in a machine. Then taken to this bath and put in a special liquid that allows the seed to float and the shells to sink. The workers then use baskets to pack the seeds from the surface of the bath. The palm kernel seeds are then grounded and dried to get the oil out. The oil is purified through several processes before finally coming out of these taps.

And that's about it! You can also watch the full process of the Palm Kernel Oil Production on my Youtube here:

Hope you guys enjoyed learning about the cultural uses and how palm oil and palm kernel oil are made.

See you again soon




Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a writer and illustrator from Lagos, Nigeria.


In 2015, I started a company called IheartLagos with the aim of showcasing Lagos culture in a unique and fun way.


That journey took me down an exciting path, discovering and learning so much about Nigeria.

Let the posts
come to you.

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