Palm International Nutra-Cosmeceutical Conference (PINC 2017) was organized to recognise and acknowledge the positive roles of palm bioactives in many food, nutraceutical and cosmetic products which are currently available in the market place. This event was held at Le Méridien Putrajaya from 31st July until 1st August 2017. It was launched by YB Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities.

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The event aspires to highlight the positive roles of palm bioactives including tocotrienols, carotenoids and phenolics. It imparts on the latest scientific evidence on the health attributes of dietary palm oil to target audience that is not limited to researchers and industry stakeholders alone, but is expanded to a larger set of audience including doctors, dieticians, nutritionists and health professionals.

Plenary Session
The event started off with a plenary session on palm tocotrienols in healthcare and science and politics in dietary fat nutrition. The first paper discussed on the potential of tocotrienols as a supplement in healthcare. The second paper discussed on misconception and flawed studies and regulatory, along with media hype circling the dietary fat nutrition especially on palm oil.

The following are the titles of the papers presented:

  • Plenary Paper 1: Expanding Horizons of Palm Tocotrienol in Healthcare
    By Prof. Dr. Chandan Sen, Ohio State University, USA
  • Plenary Paper 2: Dietary Fat Nutrition: Science or Politics?
    By Dr. Kalyana Sundram, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC)

Palm Tocotrienols – Science Streamed Towards Diseases Prevention

For global nutraceutical industry, palm oil is currently the major source of tocotrienols which are natural isomers of the Vitamin E. Interest in tocotrienols has gained significant momentum during the past decades arising from scientific observations on their potential health benefits that are different from tocopherols. As palm oil is the most important natural source of tocotrienols, state of the art technologies for the extraction and encapsulation of palm tocotrienols is already evident in the market place. A strong research based approach has helped to unravel the biological potency of these palm tocotrienols. Their benefits against cardiovascular disease, strike and cancer prevention, apart from their high antioxidant potency compared to tocopherols, has been observed.

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The following are the titles of the papers presented:

  • Effects of individual tocotrienol isomers on bone cells in a 3D cell culture system
    By Prof. Dr. Ima Nirwana Soelaiman, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Overview of tocotrienols in cancer prevention
    By Dr. Kanga Rani Selvaduray, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)
  • Tocotrienol Rich Fraction (TRF) increases cholesterol efflux in macrophages via upregulating PPAR-γ.
    By Pramod Khosla, Wayne State University, USA
  • Palm vitamin E: A potential therapy for peptic ulcer disease
    By Dr. Nur Azlina Mohd Fahami, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Tocotrienols and their effects on microglia responses: implications for brain inflammatory conditions
    By Dr. Sharmili Vidyadaran, Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Tocotrienol promotes myogenic differentiation in the prevention of replicative senescence of myoblasts
    By Prof. Dr. Suzana Makpol, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Efficacy of oral mixed tocotrienols in diabetic peripheral neuropathy – a multicenter, randomized controlled trial
    By Dr. Hor Chee Peng, Seberang Jaya Hospital, Malaysia
  • Dissecting the mechanism responsible for the anti-cancer stem cell properties of gamma-tocotrienol
    By Dr. Patrick Ling, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Palm Phenolics – New Challenges & Emerging Opportunities

Scientists have successfully characterized the palm fruit phenolics and with an innovative process technology in place. This potent bioactive is well advanced in the race to commercial through an internally backed science and business consortium. This module elucidated the biological activities of palm polyphenols and their potential role in disease prevention and wellness, backed by an ever growing battery of patents and research findings from a consortium of international laboratories including those from Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO, Australia), Brandeis University (USA) and Wayne State University (WSU, USA). Data for these come from a battery of cell culture, animal and pre-clinical studies.

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The following are the titles of the papers presented:

  • Nutrition and the immune response: An overview
    By Prof. Dr. Shamala Devi, Universiti Malaya, Malaysia
  • Oil palm phenolics: discovery, current knowledge and future challenges
    By Dr. Ravigadevi Sambanthamurthi, Consultant, Malaysia
  • Oil Palm Phenolics (OPP) ameliorate neurodegenerative effects in a diet induced aged rat model of Alzheimer’s disease
    By Dr. Smiti Gupta, Wayne State University, USA
  • Emerging trends in the global nutraceuticals market – Novel opportunities for the palm oil industry
    By Dr. Mahinda Abeywardena, CSIRO, Australia

Dietary Palm Oil in Health & Nutrition: Latest on health and nutritional attributes of palm oil.

Dietary fats especially saturated fatty acids, long associated with coronary heart disease risk are being re-examined by nutritionists and biomedical specialists. The long held hypothesis that saturates are the primary contributory risk factors for CHD have been debunked by recent major publications. This results in a string of debates and triggered a need to revisit dietary recommendations. Carbohydrates have loomed as a causative macronutrient we should pay greater attention to. The focus of presentations was on how palm oil is featured in these new strategies and questions regarding food labelling via palm oil product formulations and consumer awareness was discussed.

The following are the titles of the papers presented:

  • Nutrigenomics and dietary fats/fatty acids
    By Dr. Mansoor Mohammed, Canada
  • The Malaysian lipid study – lifestyle, nutrition and cardiometabolic risk profile of urban Malaysian society
    By Dr. Tilakavati Karupaiah, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Metabolomic profile of healthy Malaysian population conditioned to palm oil consumption: Correlation with anthropometric and metabolic parameters
    By Dr. Smiti Gupta, Wayne State University, USA
  • Choosing optimum dietary fat permutations for healthy lifestyles
    By Dr. Felicia Stoler, Rutgers University, USA
  • Regulatory challenges and hurdles for bioactive compounds
    By Dr. Peter Pressman, Polyscience Consulting, USA
  • The challenges in getting T3 recognized as a vitamin E – legislation and market perspective
    By Mr. W.H. Leong, ExcelVite, Australia
  • Consumer perception and pick up: where we are at and where we should be
    By Mr. Bryce Wylde, USA
  • Systematic review on palm oil and its implication on diet related NCDs
    By Mr. Terence Tan Yew Chin, Institute for Medical Research, Malaysia


Process contaminants in edible vegetable oils and fats formed during the processing (also known as refining) is required to make these oils and fats suitable for use in food manufacturing. These group of substances includes 3-monochloropropane,-1,2-diol (3-MCPD) and its related fat soluble forms (also known as 3-MCPD esters), and glycidyl esters (GE). The science of food and related areas of research continues to improve our understanding of food ingredients and their impact on health. Palm oil industry has already voluntarily launched initiatives to reduce the levels of these contaminants and to mitigate the risks. The module focused on its challenges and outlook in improving the quality and reputation of palm oil.

Title and speakers involved:

  • MCPD – public health implications
    By Dr. Roger Clemens, University of Southern California, USA
  • 3-MCPD and GE: Status updates and the strategic road map
    By Ms. Rosidah Radzian, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)
  • Improving the quality and reputation of palm oil through research
    By Dr. Joerg J. Jacoby, Wilmar Biotechnology R&D Center, China


Specially tailored for medical practitioners, the evening forum displayed a lively debate on fats, nutraceuticals and lifestyle management that includes palm oil and bioactives; aimed at enhancing wellness and longevity, featuring prominent international health and nutrition speakers. The voice of these experts should go a long way to resolve many questions medical practitioners continue to pose about dietary fats, palm oil and healthy lifestyle management. This forum was chaired by Dr. Kalyana Sundram, CEO of Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC). Several questions were asked from the audience directed to the speakers and Dr. Kalyana Sundram had also answered some of the questions. Several speakers have also directed some questions to the Malaysian palm oil industry itself and exchanged of information and opinions. They were Ms. Rosidah Radzian, Dr. Roger Clemens, Dr. Peter Pressman, Mr. Bryce Wylde, Dr. Mansoor Mohammed, and Dr. Felicia Stoler.