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Palm oil is the most consumed and oldest cooking oil in Nigeria. This is because, even before large-scale production of palm oil and modern-day civilization, the making and selling of the oil for home consumption and for commercial purposes has been in existence. Oil palm cultivation is originally from West Africa.


Elaeis guineensis is a species of palm, known as African oil palm, and is the principal source of palm oil. People from the eastern and the southeastern parts of Nigeria have a deep knowledge when it comes to extracting oil from palm fruits. These middlemen buy from the people in rural areas and sell to consumers in the urban areas. Unrefined red palm oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, E and K, and has many nutritional benefits.


Palm oil can be used in the preparation of our traditional dishes like Egusi soup, Ofe Nsala, Gbegiri soup, tuwo masara, efo riro. It is also used to sustain fire and for soap making. Palm oil is produced in  Enugu, Imo, Ondo, Anambra, Oyo, Abia and Akwa Ibom.

How to extract palm oil

Items Required

Palm kernel Bowl Frying pan Fire


Get the palm kernels from the tree Pick out and put in a bowl Cover it then and allow to ferment for 2-3 days. Pound to a soft paste. Separate nuts from fibre. Put the fibre in a local frying pan  and fry it. Use hand to squeeze out the oil, while still hot. Allow it to cool. Palm oil is ready for use.

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This article was first published on 21st March 2018


Amara Adanna Ogbonna is a Christian, foodie, and lover of arts. She spends most of her time on Facebook.

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