Following that pattern, African oil palm groves diffused the full length of sub-Saharan Africa's forest zone, from Senegambia to Angola and into the Congo, sharing space with various cultivars including plantains, taro, rice, and several varieties of beans (Figure 3).
Luso-African trade in palm oil dates to the early sixteenth century, (10) and along with human chattel, oil and kernels from the African oil palm helped form early Atlantic trade networks linking the Old and New Worlds.
A scattering of colonial references from the Neotropics, along with contemporary evidence, does however link the early diffusion of the African oil palm with the transatlantic slave trade.
Despite vivid descriptions of Bahian landscapes, neither his Tratado nor two other sixteenth-century accounts of the colony mentioned the African oil palm.
As we have seen, the subspontaneous range of the African oil palm extends from Senegambia to Angola, including the Atlantic island and European way station of Sao Tome; therefore palm oil and kernels were prominent in all the areas and ports frequented by European ships in the early colonial period.
2009), that analyzed the genetic diversity of collections of African oil palm by AFLPs, RFLPs and microsatellites respectively, found that the 'Deli' germplasm constitute a differentiated group with scarce genetic diversity.
It is proposed that Nigeria is the center of diversity of African oil palm, which is also sustained in the fact that as the geographical distance increases, the indexes of diversity decrease.
The dissimilarity of materials of Ivory Coast would be explained by the discontinuity in the distribution of African oil palm bypassing the Dahomey Gap.
The above mentioned happens even though the oil of African oil palm presents approximately 50% of unsaturated fatty acids and that among the saturated ones predominates the palmitic acid that may have a neutral behavior as cholesterolemic.
Nevertheless, as the African oil palm collections are evaluated, diversity has been found for oleic fatty acid and carotenes.