Monday, September 28, 2015

Parts of the oil palm fruit

Densely packed fruits of the oil palm, Elaeis quineensis
I have in this picture split the oil palm fruit bunch in half.   From this cross-section view it is clear how closely packed are the fruits.  At the bottom of the picture is a cross section of a fruit.  Starting from the outermost layer of the fruit (skin) is the epicarp which is variously coloured orange to yellow and overlain with deep violet or black in exposed parts.  The middle layer of the fruit is called the mesocarp and in the picture is thick, oily, fleshy, fibrous, and  coloured deep orange.   The black ring is the endocarp, or innermost layer of the fruit wall, also referred to as shell.  Finally the white center is the endosperm, which is the nutritive body of the seed, sometimes called the kernel.

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