7 ways to detect & avoid palm oil
If you live in countries such as Australia, New Zealand or the UK, then you will understand how frustrating it is trying to avoid palm oil when shopping, because there are no laws on the mandatory labelling of palm oil. This means companies usually don’t label palm oil on their products.
The list below consists of a number of different ways in which you can detect and avoid palm oil when shopping:

 

  • The most common name palm oil is hidden under is vegetable oil’. Almost all Asian products or products made in Asia that have ‘vegetable oil’ written on the label means that it is palm oil.  
  • Most pre-packaged snack foods made by well known, large corporate-giants (Nestle, Unilever etc) contain palm oil.
  • If a product’s saturated fat content is over 40% of it’s total fat content, it will almost always have palm oil in it.

  • Ingredients with the word ‘palm’ in them are palm oil or are derived from the oil palm fruit (as shown in the ingredient list below).
  • Nearly all home-brand/no-name pasties and confectionery will contain palm oil (Coles/Safeway donuts, muffins, cakes, chocolate, confectionery etc).

  • If you are not sure whether a product contains palm oil, either type the product name into google along with ‘palm oil’ and see the search results, or call the company and ask if they use palm oil. 
  • To avoid palm oil, look out for products that contain alternative vegetable oils, such as 100% sunflower oil, corn oil or canola oil. However, please note that Soybean oil is often associated with the destruction of rainforest in Brazil.

    IMPORTANT: 
    Just because a product says it is “Organic” or “Cruelty-Free” does not mean it doesn’t contain palm oil. In fact, most natural/organic products do contain palm oil – because palm oil is a very much a natural ingredient. It’s the way it is produced that is far from natural, which is something many companies fail to realise. 

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30 NAMES PALM OIL CAN BE LABELLED UNDER

Foods, Body Products, Cosmetics & Cleaning Agents:

-Vegetable Oil
-Vegetable Fat
-Sodium Laureth Sulfate (in almost everything that foams) ^
-Sodium Lauryl Sulfate ^
-Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS) ^
-Palm Kernel#
-Palm Oil Kernel #
-Palm Fruit Oil #
-Palmate #
-Palmitate #
-Palmolein #
-Glyceryl Stearate #
-Stearic Acid #
-Elaeis Guineensis #
-Palmitic Acid #
-Palm Stearine #
-Palmitoyl oxostearamide #
-Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3 #
-Steareth -2 *
-Steareth -20 *
-Sodium Kernelate #
-Sodium Palm Kernelate #
-Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate *
-Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate ^
-Hyrated Palm Glycerides #
-Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylaye ^
-Cetyl Palmitate #
-Octyl Palmitate #
-Cetyl Alcohol ^
-Palmityl Alchohol #    
          

# These ingredients are definitely palm oil or derived from palm oil.

* These ingredients are often derived from palm oil, but could be derived from other vegetable oils.

^ These ingredients are either derived from palm oil or coconut oil.                       

 

 

This is little Jessie, a victim of the illegal pet/zoo trade in South-East Asia. 
Photo credit: TRAFFIC Southeast Asia

 

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