Alternative names for palm oil

If only I had a penny for every alternative name palm oil can be listed under…

When you go into the supermarket and read product labels (which you obviously do all the time) and find no ‘palm oil’ among the hundreds of ingredients, you may think you’re on to a winner… but don’t be fooled.

As of December 2014, an EU law came into effect stating that all products using vegetable oil must explicitly state the type of vegetable oil used (palm oil is just one of many vegetable oils, amongst sunflower oil, corn oil etc). Whilst this was a breakthrough, many manufacturers are able to get around this by listing palm oil and its derivatives behind an alternative name, in which they can appear under hundreds of names.

When I mention palm oil derivatives, all this really means is that palm oil can be split into different fractions (a liquid form and a solid form) that are subsequently further refined and processed to produce different oils that are used various products, from food to cosmetics.

If you want to see a detailed list of palm oil “pseudonyms”, here’s a handy link… 

Or if you’re not feeling like remembering all those names, here’s a pocket-sized list from Orangutan Foundation International Australia for more common “pseudonyms”:

Available to download at

If you’re feeling particularly curious, why not check your fridge or bathroom to see if your products are hidden under these alternative names.


Love Palm Oil?


6 thoughts on “Alternative names for palm oil

    1. Not necessarily! Palm oil is just one type of vegetable oil. There are other types of vegetable oils such as sunflower or rapeseed oil. But if they only list an ingredient as ‘vegetable oil’ and don’t say what type of vegetable oil is then there is a chance it is palm oil!


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