The new year started on a super exciting note for the Amdavadis as Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) organized a super fun-filled and informative meet for some of the best food bloggers in the city. Your own DesertBlog was proud to be a part of it. The bloggers’ meet was carefully planned, maintaining the right balance of food, fun, and information to ensure each and every person had a great experience. To add to the party atmosphere, the event was themed “Retro”. The bloggers turned up in colorful attire to add a bit of glitter to the occasion.
The meet started on the evening of January 2, 2018, at Kbobs with a food treasure hunt
that led the foodie participants to Barbeque Nation, Sugar and Spice followed by Happy
Singh and back to Kbobs. The entire group comprised of some of the most well known
and respected food bloggers of Ahmedabad who were divided into different groups for all
the activities in the evening.
Mrs. Manjusha Chaturvedi graced and judged the event. Mrs. Chaturvedi is a Post Graduate in Political Science from Lucknow University. She is a mother of two lovely daughters, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a keen foodie, a very good cook in her own right and above all, a Homemaker. She befits every role bestowed on her with remarkable ease and dexterity. She is widely traveled and enjoys North Indian cuisine. As a cook, her flair for cooking, combining taste and nutrition, satisfies the taste buds of her family; that’s what makes her a perfect cook.
The food treasure hunt trail was followed by exciting games, blind food tasting and quizzes specially designed for the event. The whole event ensured that the benefits of Malaysian Palm Oil were shared with the participants; thus, enlightening them on how Indian food and especially Gujarati cuisine can be best cooked in palm oil. The evening ended with a special spread of food specially made for the participants in Malaysian Palm Oil. Speaking at the occasion, Ms. Bhavna Shah, Country Representative of Malaysian Palm Oil Council for India and Sri Lanka said, “With people now more conscious about their health and food habits, palm oil is definitely the healthier choice to make for cooking and a step towards the good health of the whole family. What better way to create awareness than directly reaching out to the households through the foodies of Ahmedabad!!” India is the world’s largest importer of vegetable oils.
Palm oil constitutes about two-thirds of India’s steadily increasing vegetable oils imports. The price, in comparison to competing oils and the proximity of origin, Malaysia, has made Malaysian Palm Oil a highly preferred oil. We in India have been using palm oil but had very little or no awareness about it. Amongst some of the benefits, we came to learn about during the event were that palm oil is healthy and economical. It is a rich source of carotenoids, an important source of Vitamin A, a potent natural antioxidant, Vitamins D, E, K, fatty acids, and other important fat-soluble micronutrients that boost the human immune system. The health benefits of using palm oil are tremendous – it reduces chances of cancer, protects against heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and helps children with Vitamin A deficiency.
The oil is great for cooking; it is of vegetable origin, making it free of cholesterol and apt for vegetarians, vegans, and Jains. Furthermore, the oil has a neutral flavor – you need not worry about changing tastes; it does not oxidize easily – making it perfect for frying food; produces less gummy materials and helps in the cooking area maintaining a non-greasy surface. Most bakers prefer to use a palm-based margarine for baking goods.
MPOC is a Council under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia.
Its role is to promote the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products by enhancing the image of palm oil and creating better acceptance of palm oil through awareness of various technological and economic advantages (techno-economic advantages) and environmental sustainability.
The Council has set up a network of ten offices all over the world, mainly in China (Shanghai), India (Mumbai), Pakistan (Lahore), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Middle East (Istanbul and Cairo), Europe (Brussels and Russia), Africa (Durban) and Americas (Washington DC) to support, promote and venture into new areas for the industry. The plantation industry, particularly palm oil, is one of the main pillars of the Malaysian economy. The palm oil sector has contributed significantly towards providing a continuous inflow of export earnings through the export of raw commodity and value-added products to the global market. In 2016, palm oil contributed USD 9 billion in export earnings for Malaysia and accounted for 33% of the world’s palm oil production and 39% of total palm oil exports.
The country today enjoys its economic prosperity and development through a strong foundation set by the industry and contribution in terms of export earnings and employment. It has long put into place guidelines, research, industrial and environmental standards that provide a safe, high-quality Trans-free oil in a manner that supports the local economy, preserves the environmental resource base and is economically viable. Practices are constantly reviewed to ensure that best agricultural and management practices evolve in line with new research findings and international standards.