Decoding health benefits of palm oil


(Left to right) Chef Riju Kumar Dey, Dr. Rajeev Churi, Principal Xavier Gomes, Prof. Mahua Ghosh, Dr. Bhavna Shah, Chef Avijit Ray, Chef Mukul Sarkar

By- Pritha Banerjee, @mepritha2012, INN Kolkata;

The students of Guru Nanak Institute of Hotel Management Kolkata participated in a Young Chefs Cooking competition organised by Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) conducted recently.  MPOC is a council under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia promotes the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products. The competition also included a workshop and seminar on the various health benefits of palm oil.

Principal Xavier Gomes with Dr. Bhavna Shah

Keeping in mind the requirement of the hospitality industry, Dr. Bhavna Shah, Country Representative of Malaysian Palm Oil Council for India and Sri Lanka, says, “With a 100-year history behind its development and growth in Malaysia, it is the answer to the nutrition needs of not only the Indian population but also globally. With its rich supply of vitamins and anti-oxidants, it has been proven to be a healthy component in the daily diet.”

Participant of competition with Bhavna and other staff of the Institute

The workshop focused on understanding Malaysian Palm Oil better and its benefits. Despite various controversies, experts claim there is a number of health benefits associated with palm oil. Prof. Mahua Ghosh, University of Calcutta, discussed in detail the chemical composition of palm oil explaining its benefits to our body. Dr. Rajeev Churi from the Oil Technologists Association of India also spoke at the occasion.

Students participated in competition

Dr. Bhavna explained, “From toothpaste to detergent powder, palm oil is used for each and everything in our daily life.” Palm oil can help prevent cancer by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells. Vitamin A, D, and E are found in considerable quantities in palm oil, and since the body cannot naturally retain these vitamins, it is necessary to consume them in our diets. Thus, adding palm oil to the diet will ensure no occurrence of any vitamin deficiencies.

Winner of the competition Anjan Biswas

While buying palm oil, there are certain things that a person must keep in mind, “One may use any brand of packed palm olein manufactured by a reputed company but it is important NOT to use palm olein sold in loose form. Some of the brands of palm olein available in the market are Himani Best Choice Refined Palm Olein (available online also), Raag Gold, Ruchi Gold,” added Dr. Bhavna Shah.

Dr. Bhavna Shah while judging the competition

For the cooking competition, the students were given surprise ingredients and they were asked to cook a main course and a starter item using Malaysian Palm Oil. The winners were felicitated with trophy and certificate of honour by Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC). Anjan Biswas, Titas Maity, and Subha Deb received the first, second, and third prize at the event. There were awards for other categories such as Best Presentation won by Priyanka Saha and Anushree Saha), Best Starter bagged by Sujoy Paul and Best Main Course won by Diljit Singh. Along with Dr. Bhavna Shah, Chef Avijit Ray, Chef Riju Kumar Dey, and Chef Mukul Sarkar were the judges for the competition.

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