Level Growth works with industry to develop additional farm products.
Tocotrienol, Arenga Sugar, and Clove Oil Production
Tocotrienol Extraction from CPO (Crude Palm Oil )
Crude palm oil contains approximately 0.2% in total volume of highly valuable nutrients of carotenoids (pro-‐vitamin A), tocols (tocopherols and tocotrienols, -‐forms of vitamin E), coenzyme Q10, squalene, phytosterols (sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, and cholesterol), lecithin (phospholipids), and polyphenols. Benefits of these minor components have been well documented. Carotenoids have been associated with the prevention of cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration, as well as enhancement of the immune system. Tocols, in particular tocotrienols, have been linked to neuro-‐protection, cardiovascular protection, and as having anti-‐cancer effects such as anti-‐angiogenesis. Coenzyme Q10 has been linked to anti-‐cancer effects, and has been associated with cardiovascular benefits, enhanced cellular energy production, and antioxidative defense mechanisms.
Currently, the known industrial method to isolate carotenoids from crude palm oil is to first chemically convert the oil to form fatty acid methyl ester (so called biodiesel) in presence of methanol and catalyst, and then to distill the formed fatty acid methyl esters at high temperature and vacuum resulting in a non-‐distillable residue mixture that contains minor components and other unwanted materials. This method is associated with several major critical issues that are disadvantageous.
- The chemistry reaction that forms the biodiesel and the catalysts used in the reaction produce undesired materials known to be toxic to human and other minor components resulting in decomposition of minor components (micronutrients). It is problematic to effectively remove the toxic materials from minor
- High heat distillation and harsh chemicals partially damage the minor components (micronutrients) and the original oil, resulting in generation of toxic and unhealthy derivatives that can not be effectively removed, resulting in oil that is non useable for human
- Stability of high value tocols is very sensitive to high The recovery efficiency of tocols and squalene in this method is very low due to the two factors: (1) tocols partially degrade at high temperature and during long term distillation and (2) during distillation a fraction of the tocols and most squalene are also distillated out with the biodiesel.
We have invented and established a new methodology to extract a natural product of minor nutrients from palm oil avoiding these disadvantages. The invented method effectively
preserves the minor nutrients as well as the palm oil in their natural composition.
This novel method is involves extraction of micronutrients from CPO at low temperature. The material used for the extraction is a food grade natural solvent. The minor components (micronutrients) remain stable during the extraction process. These isolated minor components maintain their natural composition, as a “natural nutrient”. Furthermore, following the extraction process, the original CPO used in processing is recovered with reduction of free fatty acid content from 7%-‐14% to less than 1.5%, yield a higher quality of palm oil. Deterioration of Bleachability Index (DOBI) evaluation following extraction demonstrates an increases to 3.05 from an average of 2.66, an additional indication of higher quality, lower impurity CPO compared with the original CPO.
Clove Farm Production and Harvesting
Clove is thought to be indigenous to Indonesia. The trees require significant water from rain and deep fertile soil. The main active ingredient is eugenol which is 90% of the clove. Clove is used as spice and medicine in much of the world. Clove is high in antioxidants, and has antibacterial properties. It has traditional use for gastric disorders and as a stimulant. It is used to boost the immune system and in men for sexual health in Asia.
The unopened buds must be harvested by hand with care. Clove grows best in mixed crops or scattered in native areas with excellent drainage. This makes clove farms an excellent location for animals, particularly those vulnerable to poaching, to be protected.
Sugar Palm is not to be confused with the highly destructive Oil Palm. Sugar Palms only grow in a diverse forest, in which many other animal and plant species live
The sugar palm has several unique features that make it the champion of the forest. A few years after the tree is planted a daily amount of juice can be tapped from the tree, by cutting a thin slice off a branch. The tree then releases large quantities of juice (mature trees produce 20-30 litres a day, some even more than 50) with a sugar concentration of about 11%. However before it will start producing the valuable sap the tree has to go through a preparation which involves lengthily 'knocking' the tree trunk. The producing tree thus converts sunlight, rainwater and CO2 into sugar-sap which can be processed into many different products, mainly through special techniques developed by Willie. Several examples of these products are bio-ethanol, (very healthy) palm sugar and bio-plastics. All in all, this one tree can deliver over 60 different kinds of products, ranging from bio fuel and sugar to extremely strong fibres used for roofing, medicine and a good quality of wood (after its life cycle had ended).
The amount of energy produced by a sugar palm beats that of all other crops (e.g. it provides over three times more energy than sugar cane). Part of this output lies in the ingenious leaf structure, making it very efficient in capturing sunlight. In addition, the process of photosynthesis is much more efficient than that of other crops, and is taking place during a longer time period per day. The Sugar Palm on balance does not remove nutrients from the soil the way other plants do, and to harvest the energy, no fruits or branches have to be cut off. Once planted, the tree may be harvested throughout the year. Furthermore, the palm will grow on various poor soil types and up against steep slopes which cannot be used as farmland. Due to its deep root system, it also provides excellent protection against soil erosion, and it is fire- and flood resistant. Because it grows only in a diverse forest it contributes to preserving biodiversity.
This sugar sweetener is harvested from palm (coconut) nectar. This palm sugar market currently exists in North America and the market by food industry standards, is very small compared to the more mainstream sugars from corn, cane or beet. Palm Sugar products in SE Asia are considered a regional product due to cultural demand based on centuries of indigenous production and consumption. All palm sugar products currently commercially available use stabilizers during harvesting that are retained in the final product. These preservatives are either restricted by FDA guidelines and are problematic for direct to consumer usage and for use in industrial commercial food applications, or substantially impact taste and characteristics of the final product. We have developed proprietary harvesting techniques incorporating trade secret fully organic preservatives based on our intellectual property, and via additional intellectual property has developed methods of preparation of the harvested palm fluid that result in a “cleaner” pure product with retained nutritional components. These attributes make this product highly attractive to industrial manufactures as an ingredient component for use, contemporizing traditional techniques, and attractive to consumers concerned regarding quality.