Definitions for elaeis
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word elaeis
Elaeis, genus Elaeis(noun)
a genus of palms
Origin: [NL., fr. Gr. olive tree.]
Elaeis is a genus of palms containing two species, called oil palms. They are used in commercial agriculture in the production of palm oil. The African oil palm Elaeis guineensis is the principal source of palm oil, it is native to west and southwest Africa, occurring between Angola and Gambia. The American oil palm Elaeis oleifera is native to tropical Central and South America, and is used locally for oil production. Since palm oil contains more saturated fats than oils made from canola, corn, linseed, soybeans, safflower, and sunflowers, it can withstand extreme deep-frying heat and resists oxidation. It contains no trans fat, and its use in food has increased as food-labelling laws have changed to specify trans fat content. Oil from Elaeis guineensis is also used as biofuel. Human use of oil palms may date back about 5,000 years in coastal west Africa. Palm oil was also discovered in the late 1800s by archaeologists, in a tomb at Abydos dating back to 3000 BCE. It is thought that Arab traders brought the oil palm to Egypt. Elaeis guinneensis is now extensively cultivated in tropical countries outside Africa, particularly Malaysia and Indonesia which together produce most of the world supply. Palm oil plantations are under increasing scrutiny for social and environmental harm, particularly because rainforests with high biodiversity are destroyed, greenhouse gas output is increased, and because people are displaced by unscrupulous palm-oil enterprises.
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