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Science And Sustainability Engagement Series 3: Shifting The Negative Perceptions Of Palm Oil

August 15, 2021

MPOC’s Science and Sustainability Engagement Series is a science-based online platform recently launched to update palm oil industry stakeholders on the latest developments in the area of sustainability, environment, health and nutrition. Experts are invited to present on this online platform regularly to enhance awareness and knowledge-building among industry stakeholders.

The third webinar series, titled “Shifting the Negative Perceptions of Palm Oil Webinar” was held on 24 August 2021. The event featured 4 eminent speakers in their respective field who deliberated on the issues and misconceptions that revolves around palm oil that may influenced consumer’s perceptions towards palm oil.

Moderated by Dr. Ruslan Abdullah, Director of MPOC’s Science, Environment and Sustainability Division, papers presented in the two-hour and 30 minutes long webinar include:

  1. Palm Oil Functionality and Versatility in Finished Products 
    by Dr. Prakash Adhikari, Mewah R&D Solution.
  2. Palm Oil Processing and Industrial Contaminants: Mitigations, Updates and Way Forward 
    by Dr. Azmil Haizam Ahmad Tarmizi, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).
  3. The Potential of Palm Phytonutrients for Cancer Management 
    by Prof. Dr. Smiti Gupta, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Wayne State University, USA.
  4. Making Sense of Dietary Fats – The Truth about Palm Oil
    by Dr. Jonny Bowden, Board Certified Nutritionist, USA.

Following the presentations, a lively discussion ensued. A large number of questions received during this session indicates a great interest from the audience to learn and know more about the issues and misconceptions that revolves around palm oil. The webinar was attended by 285 participants online.


Presentation 1: Palm Oil Functionality And Versatility In Finished Food

Dr Prakash Adhikari
Mewah R&D Solution

Born in Nepal, Dr. Adhikari studied and gained his Ph.D from Chungnam National University, South Korea. He has worked for large vegetable oil producers in R&D and New Product Development as a Senior Scientist for Wilmar Biotechnology R&D (China) and Cargill, Global Food Research (China). He is currently R&D Leader at Mewah R&D Solution. Dr. Adhikari is a highly qualified R&D leader, oils & fats expert, with more than 15 years’ experience in research and development mainly focusing on R&D strategy and innovation, product development and technical service. Dr Adhikari’s main technical responsibilities include lipid modification, specialty fat development (Bakery confectionary, frying oil) and oxidation and antioxidants. Valorization of co-products from different fruit and oil seeds and new value creation for the organization. His expertise extends to: Enzymatic/chemical interesterfication, Oils and fats processing, Project management, Crystallization behavior of fats and oils, analytical methods for fats and oils and oil-based products. Dr Adhikari has more than 20 papers in international journals, more than 10 lectures on international conferences, 2 patents and 2 book chapters.

Presentation 3: The Potential Of Palm Phytochemicals In Cancer Management

Dr Smiti Gupta
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA  

Smiti Gupta is a full professor, tenured at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Prof. Gupta, has created a successful and sustainable program in the area of nutrition, disease and metabolomics. with substantial external funding, a respectable publication record, curriculum development, graduation of 8 PhDs, 17 masters students and close mentoring of more than 50 undergraduate students. In addition, she has collaborated with many scientists in diverse areas of health sciences.  Prof Gupta has published extensively on the benefit of tocotrienols in lung cancer and is currently a co-investigator on a clinical study investigating tocotrienols in patients of renal disease

Presentation 4: The Nutrition Mythbuster

Dr Jonny Bowden
Nutritionist, CNS

JONNY BOWDEN, PHD, CNS, is a board-certified nutritionist, a best-selling author of 15 books, and a nationally known expert on weight loss and anti-aging. His no-nonsense, myth-busting approach has made him a popular guest on television (Dr. Oz, the Doctors, ABC-TV, MSNBC-TV, CNN, CBS-TV, CBN, Fox News, NBC-TV and dozens of morning shows in America), and a popular speaker at venues ranging from Beijing University to the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.

Dr Azmil Haizam Ahmad Tarmizi

Dr Azmil Haizam Ahmad Tarmizi is the Head of Analytical and Quality Development Unit of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). In 2021, he earned his Doctorate’s Degree in Food and Nutritional Sciences from University of Reading and awarded with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Anglia Ruskin University in 2017. Dr Azmil’s research interests are related to frying technology, and food quality and safety. Dr Azmil has published more than 40 peer-reviewed journals and technical publications. He is also involved in the Technical Working Group on 3-MCPDE and GE under the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), Technical Sub-Committee for the National Food Safety System (TC/U/19) and Technical Sub-Committee for the National Edible Oil and Fats (TC/U/29).