Made from easily sourced biowaste, the new product produces baked goods just as tasty as traditional versions
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Spotted: Palm oil is the most produced, consumed, and traded vegetable oil in the world. And largely because of its efficiency to grow as a crop, palm oil contributes to much alleviation of rural poverty. However, the crop is also one of the most insidious causes of biodiversity loss, and as such, requires immediate replacement with more sustainable alternatives.
Innovators worldwide are searching for particularly efficient, carbon-neutral ways to replace the oil in the myriad products it is used in, from lipsticks and chocolate to laundry detergent and animal feed. Researchers from Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University’s (QMU) Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation may have found one of the most cost-effective options. Using a combination of rapeseed oil, fibres, and linseed industry by-products, the team of scientists created PALM-ALT.
PALM-ALT has 88 per cent less saturated and 25 per cent less overall fat than palm oil and contains more fibre and protein. The alternative fat ingredient is also allergen-free and contains no additional flavours, colours, or sweeteners.
PALM-ALT has the consistency of mayonnaise, and particularly importantly, is made from products easily sourced in the EU and UK. With this new material, manufacturers have an opportunity to locally source their palm fat, thereby cutting down on transport-related greenhouse gas emissions and reducing pressure on communities living near rainforests.
The team has patented PALM-ALT and is exploring industry-level partnerships for the use of its palm oil replacement.
Written By: Keely Khoury