Palm oil can be used both as a crude oil as well as in the refined form. Only one quarter of the palm oil and palm kernel oil worldwide is used as a crude oil. In Southeast Asia, Africa and parts of Brazil, crude palm oil is widely used for domestic cooking.
In Europe and the United States palm oil is mostly used in its refined form, which is odourless and pale yellow, making it a valuable ingredient providing texture and taste for a variety of products. Refined palm oil is used as an affordable ingredient in many food products, such as margarine, confectionery, chocolate, ice cream and bakery products. It is also widely used in non-food products such as soap, candles, and cosmetics. More than half the products on sale in the supermarket are made with palm oil.