Monday, October 25, 2010

Rainforest Centre to be developed as open zoo

Wild Sabah: The Magnificent Wildlife and Rainforests of Malaysian BorneoTHE Malaysian Rainforest Discovery Centre in Sabah will be further developed as an open zoo concept.

It is one of the efforts to launch Malaysia as one of the world’s premium eco-tourism destinations.

While the rainforest centre will showcase Malaysia’s wild flora and fauna, the Malaysian Marine Discovery Centre will focus on the marine species.

Total funding required is estimated at RM896mil for over a period of 10 years (2010-2020) and the bulk of it will come from private sector.

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and the Tourism Ministry will set up the Global Biodiversity Hub (GBH) Board of Management which will comprise representatives from the federal and state governments, private sector, the academia and non-governmental organisations.

After a one-year interim period, it will be managed as a non-governmental body with federal and state government representatives participating to ensure that the policies are in line with the national objectives.

Wild Borneo: The Wildlife and Scenery of Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, and KalimantanLast year, the tourism industry generated RM36.9bil in gross national income (GNI), making it the fifth largest industry after oil, gas and energy, financial services, wholesale and retail, and palm oil.

It hopes to reap RM103.6bil in GNI in 2020 and increase higher yield from not only increased tourist arrivals (24 million in 2009 to 36 million by 2020) but also the amount they spend.

The ministry targets RM168bil tourist receipts by then and this would mean that the industry will grow by three times and contribute RM3bil receipts per week by 2020.

The 12 entry point projects (EPPs) for tourism are divided into five themes that cater to different segment of tourists such as the avid shopper, nature lover, business traveller and families on vacation.

Sumatran Pit Viper, Lowland Rainforest, Sabah Photographic Poster Print by Michael Fogden, 18x24Another highlight is the development of eco-nature integrated resorts in Sabah.

A private investor who has the land, financial resources and industry expertise has been identified for the project and will work with the Sabah state government and related federal agencies to obtain the necessary approvals before 2011.

The first phase of the development is expected to be ready by 2013.

Total investment is expected to be RM6.7bil with RM6.1bil from the private investor and the rest from the Government while the GNI is expected to be RM707mil with 7,700 jobs created by 2020.

Dawn Light Silhouettes the Trees of the Rainforest, Danum Valley, Sabah, Island of Borneo, Malaysia Photographic Poster Print by Louise Murray, 24x32Other EPPs include the development of a Straits Riviera, modelled after the French Riviera cruise experience, positioning Malaysia as a duty-free shopping destination and turning the Bukit Bintang area as a premier shopping precinct with seamless connectivity, establishing premium outlets in three locations and increase flight frequencies and air rights to 10 priority cities.

In order to successfully implement all the EPPs, a cumulative total of RM136.6bil (3% public and 97% private) will be required from 2011 to 2020.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Firm vegetable oil prices, including palm oil, seen in H1 2011

The World Market for Crude Palm Oil: A 2009 Global Trade PerspectiveKUALA LUMPUR: Global vegetable oil prices, including that of crude palm oil (CPO), are expected to remain firm in the first two quarters of 2011 should soybean production from South America stays flat due to stagnating planted a areas, said Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron.

Soybean production in South America next year would be the main factor in determining the price direction of vegetable oils in the first half of next year.

The 2009 Import and Export Market for Crude Palm Oil in Latin America“At this point of time, the projected lower soybean production may further deteriorate as dry spell remain a teething factor for the output,” Yusof said.

He said this in his summary after presenting a paperwork on Glimpse of 2011 – Pointers for 2011 on Global Oils and Fats Trade at the 3rd International Palm Oil Trade and Seminar yesterday.

In addition, an increase in soyoil application for biodiesel production in South America was expected to reduce the availability of soyoil traded globally.

The 2009 Import and Export Market for Crude Palm Oil in AsiaHowever, CPO production from major producers Malaysia and Indonesia next year may rise substantially due to the delay in potential yield this year as a result of El Nino and La Nina effects, he added.

Palm oil was also expected to continue to be the growth leader in output, with Malaysia and Indonesia as the main supplier for 2011.

For 2010, Yusof said the average CPO price was projected to stay above RM2,600 per tonne, given the firm crude mineral oil price, which had supported the palm oil price so far, “is expected to last for the rest of this year.”

The World Market for Crude Palm Oil: A 2011 Global Trade PerspectiveWhile demand is projected to increase by 4.3 million tonnes this year, the performance of oils and fats production in the last quarter would determine whether there will be any changes in production volume projected in 2010.

He said: “The United States, the European Union (EU) and China are on the radar as their major oil crops are due for harvesting and entering the market at this period.

“The estimated production remains intact and this has been factored into the current CPO price trading at above RM2,700 per tonne.”

Yusof said price would also be supported by the greater role of palm oil in satisfying global demand this year. In addition, the La Nina effect on palm oil production in the second half of this year could likely increase palm fruit moisture content and lower extraction rates, thus reducing harvesting rounds.

Based on OilWorld estimate, La Nina phenomenon would likely reduce Malaysia’s palm oil production by 200,000 tonnes.

US-based Green Earth Fuels LLC executive vice-president (government and regulatory affairs) Jeffrey M. Trucksess said palm biodiesel (palm methyl ester – PME) had made significant inroads in the US biodiesel market in recent years and had tremendous potential.

“However, significant political, regulatory and public relation issues can derail this future,” he said.

PME producers from Malaysia must proactively manage the public perception on palm oil in the United States and Europe by providing more education to policymakers there, actively participate in regulatory bodies and promote sustainability standards.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Palm fruit bioactives are increasingly utilized in dietary supplements, food & beverage as well as cosmetic & personal care products

12/10/2010 (Live-PR News) - Edison, NJ – The world’s largest and only GMP-certified tocotrienol producer, Carotech Inc, is pleased to announce that the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) will organize a Palm Fruit Bioactives Workshop in conjunction with the biggest nutraceuticals and ingredients event in North America - Supply Side West in Las Vegas on October 20th, 2010.

TwinLabs MXL Rice Tocotrienols Softgels, 60-Count BottleEntitled “Palm Fruit Bioactives: Science, Applications & Technical Advantages”, this one-day workshop is one of MPOC’s Palm International Nutra-Cosmeceuticals Conference (PINC) series that aims to promote global awareness of the health benefits of oil palm fruit bioactives such as palm tocotrienol complex, palm carotenoid complex and palm polyphenols.

The Palm Fruit Bioactives Workshop will highlight important aspects of research, product innovation and applications of these palm fruit bioactives, specifically in dietary supplements, functional food and beverages as well as personal care products.

The significance of palm tocotrienol complex being GRAS-approved means that application of palm tocotrienol complex like Tocomin® is now extended to everyday food and beverage products such as margarine and spreads, bakery products, functional beverages and more.

Source Naturals Tocotrienol Antioxidant Complex w/Vit E, 60 softgels“Over the past decade, we have seen increased scientific evidence that palm tocotrienol complex has significant health benefits, especially in its effect in protecting brain cells during stroke. In addition, companies are switching to palm carotenoid complex as a natural and nutritional food colorant and pro-vitamin A source. What is interesting is that palm carotenoid complex has the highest level of alpha-carotene (the more biologically potent form of carotene) in the market. Recently, we have also successfully extracted water soluble polyphenols from palm fruits,” says Dr. Kalyana Sundram, Deputy CEO of MPOC, organizer of the Workshop.

“This one day Palm Fruit Bioactives Workshop will have 3 sessions dedicated to palm tocotrienol complex, carotenoid complex and palm polyphenols and will focus on market potential, application capability and formulation flexibility of these palm fruit bioactives. We are confident that all attendees will benefit greatly from the workshop.” Dr. Sundram added.

Tocotrienols: Vitamin E Beyond Tocopherols“We are honored to participate and provide assistance in organizing this Palm Fruit Bioactives Workshop. The workshop is going to be very informative to manufacturers who are interested in using these unique palm fruit bioactives in their product formulations. We have experts from various fields that have spent many years in researching and formulating with these palm bioactives. I would encourage formulators, technical personnel as well as product development personnel to come and learn about applications of our ingredients in formulating functional beverages and personal care products,” says Bryan See, Regional Product Manager of Carotech Inc.

Carotech Inc. is actively assisting MPOC in organizing the Workshop. As a regular exhibitor at Supply Side West, Carotech Inc. will showcase TocoBev™ 20% and Tocomin® 50%C.

Products samples : O’Yes! face cream containing Tocomin® 50%C and Juice of Life containing açaí berry and TocoBev™ 20% palm tocotrienol complex are available for sampling and tasting during the Supply Side West event at Carotech’s booth (Booth No : 12024) .

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Minister takes anti-palm oil activists to task

Reflections of Eden: My Years with the Orangutans of Borneo04/10/2010 (The Star Online), Kuala Lumpur - Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok has slammed non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and environmentalists for blindly alleging that the palm oil industry was responsible for the destruction of rainforests and orang utan habitats.

"Despite a well-managed and caring industry, we are being bombarded with baseless allegations by NGOs and environmentalists who hold palm oil accountable for the destruction of rainforests and orang utan habitats," he told a press conference after opening the Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar here Monday.

Bernard pointed out that some zoos overseas were campaigning against palm oil based on unproven facts, such as those by the Don't Palm Us Off Facts group.

"All these, (while) nonchalantly displaying their version of 'orang utan cruelty' by imprisoning orang utans in confined spaces and subjecting them to cold and non-tropical climates," Bernard said.

Bernard said zoos in non-tropical countries should release their orang utans back into the wilds of Malaysia or Indonesia.

Orangutans: Wizards of the Rain Forest"Use the money contributed by the public towards real conservation programmes instead of making feeble attempts at running negative campaigns that mislead the general public," he said.

He added that the Government had pledged RM20mil towards the Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund.

"More recently, we have initiated a programme to set aside a major tract of rainforest in Sabah to establish a mega wildlife sanctuary," he said.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cholesterolaemic effects of the saturated fatty acids of palm oil

Dietary saturated fats are implicated as a major risk factor in hypercholesterolaemia and cardiovascular disease. 

The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid ItPalm oil is a major source of the world's supply of oils and fats, but because of its relatively high content of saturated fatty acids (principally palmitic acid), its consumption has come under intense scrutiny over the last decade owing to potential health implications. 

Based on studies carried out more than thirty years ago, the hypothesis was developed that lauric, myristic, and palmitic acid were the three principal cholesterol-raising saturated fatty acids. 

Since palmitic acid is the most abundant fatty acid in the diet, the cholesterol-raising effect of all saturated fatty acids was accordingly assigned to it. However, recent studies from both humans and experimental animals suggest that not all saturated fatty acids are cholesterol-raising. 

When all dietary fatty acids are equalized, with the exception of the two being tested, palmitic acid appears to have no impact on the plasma cholesterol in normocholesterolaemic subjects when dietary cholesterol intake is below a certain critical level (400 mg per day)

Only when cholesterol consumption exceeds this level, or when hypercholesterolaemic subjects are studied, does palmitic acid appear to increase the plasma cholesterol. 

These differential effects of palmitic acid on plasma cholesterol are thought to reflect differences in LDL-receptor status. Collectively these data imply that, for most of the world's population, palm oil would be an inexpensive and readily metabolized source of dietary energy with minimal impact on cholesterol metabolism.

Read the rest of the paper here..