Palm kernel oil is an edible plant oil derived from the kernel of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis. It should not be confused with the other two edible oils derived from palm fruits: coconut oil, extracted from the kernel of the coconut, and palm oil, extracted from the pulp of the oil palm fruit.
Palm kernel oil, coconut oil, and palm oil are three of the few highly saturated vegetable fats. Palm kernel oil, which is semi-solid at room temperature, is more saturated than palm oil and comparable to coconut oil. Like all vegetable oils, these three palm-derived oils do not contain cholesterol (found in unrefined animal fats), although saturated fat intake increases bothLDL and HDL cholesterol.
Palm kernel oil is a common cooking ingredient; its increasing use in the commercial food industry throughout the world is buoyed by its lower cost, the high oxidative stability (saturation) of the refined product when used for frying, and its lack of cholesterol and trans fatty acids, both viewed as being heart-healthy attributes.