Palm oil is the world’s richest natural source of carotenes in terms of retinol equivalent. Retinol equivalent (RE) is a measurement of vitamin A values in vitamin A sources.

When comparing palm oil with other food containing carotenoids, palm oil contains approximately 15, 44, and 300 times higher retinol equivalent than carrots, leafy vegetables and tomatoes respectively as shown in the table below.

Sources REa

Fruits and vegetables

(carotene derived)

Relative quantityb (< RPO)
Red palm oil 30,000
Carrots 2,000 15
Leafy vegetables 685 44
Apricots 250 120
Tomatoes 100 300
Bananas 30 1000
Orange juice 8 3750
  1. Per 100 g edible portion.
  2. Times greater or less than red palm oil (RPO). [1]


  1. Tan B. Novel aspects of palm oil carotenoid analytical biochemistry. In: Ma AN, Maycock JH, Sieh LML, Augustine MA, eds. International oil palm/palm oil conferences: technical progress and prospects. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: PORIM Press, 1987:370-76.