WHEREAS, commercially available palm oil could be a product of large-scale industrial processing, medium scale production, and small scale extraction that usually involve mechanised means; individuals could also prepare their own palm oil in the comfort of their homes. Here, normal cooking kitchen utensils can be used to make palm oil like preparing cake or any other recipe. Now you are invited to follow the exciting tale of how to make palm oil at home.
Preparation of Palm Fruit
What is harvested from the palm tree is a whole spiky palm fruit bunch that must be carefully handled to obtain the needed palm fruit. Sometimes, the bunch is left outside for a few days to allow condensed dew to sink in and soften the base of the palm fruit. Other times, the spines are carved out with either axe or cutlass, sprinkled with water, and allow to soften between twenty four to forty eight hours, before the palm fruits are hand-picked out of the spines.
Cooking and Mashing the Palm Fruit
The bulk of isolated palm fruit is washed and placed in a cooking pot. Water is added to just completely cover the entire palm fruit content before transferring the pot to the fire. The essence of cooking the fruit is to soften the fruit to ease the process of extraction. But care must be taken during heating to avoid being burnt by the high stream of steam that is usually associated with boiling palm fruit.      Ideally, the palm fruit should be well cooked and soft enough to undergo mashing after a period of one hour. But there is another way to arrive at a positive conclusion:  that is, when the fruits begin to crack. At this point, some of the dark pigment at the top of the palm fruit must have dissolved in the water, thus forming a dense liquid mass.
A sieve is used to separate the dark liquid and the fruit is hurriedly mashed with mortar and pestle while it is still hot. Sometimes, bare-hands are used to mash the fruits against a bowl until a mixture of yellowish oil bearing paste and black kernels are formed.
Extraction of Palm Oil
The mixture of paste and kernel is washed with water for three consecutive times. Each round is followed by sieving to remove the kernel and accompanying chaffs. The liquid obtained from this stage is heat continuously for at least one hour to burst all the oil bearing cells. Finally, the liquid is allowed to cool and either cooking spoon or tablespoon is used to scoop the oil which evidently float at the top. Once the entire oil is removed, the liquid left is a useless green-black substance.
Lastly, the oil is heated continuously to vapourise water and some other fluids that might become undesirable impurities. Once you are done with the heating, it is essential you pour the oil into a bottle or plastic container, and store in a cool and dark place.

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