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Orangutang Rejoice As Sustainable Bio Equivalent For Palm Oil Becomes Real

British start-up Clean Food Group is near release of a sustainable bio equivalent for palm oil, aiming to address the environmental concerns associated with the widely-used ingredient.

Palm oil continues to face widespread criticism due to its connection with deforestation and the degradation of Orangutang habitat and carbon-intensive practices. Despite this, the global palm oil market remains lucrative, with a valuation of $50.6 billion in 2021, projected to reach $65.5 billion by 2027.

Fortunately though land clearing for plantations especially in South-East Asia has slowed down with the Malaysian Government slapping a moratorium on any clearing at all in that state.

Mother and baby orangutang

Source: Photo 79922560 |

Clean Food Group’s alternative, known as Clean Palm Oil, comes after years of research led by Professor Christopher Chuck from the University of Bath.

'Our dependence on palm oil comes at a great environmental cost,' says Prof Chuck.

'We’ve worked over many years to create robust palm oil alternatives that give us a real chance to cut the impact of a range of products. Until now they have only been possible to produce with palm oil and the deforestation, pollution and emissions that come with it.'

Clean palm oil Prof Christopher Chuck

Source: Clean Food Group

This yeast-based solution offers a nutritionally and compositionally similar option to traditional palm oil, while avoiding the environmental downsides.

The substitute is produced through a carefully nurtured yeast strain, cultivated using a natural process inspired by plant-breeding techniques.

The cultivation process takes place within a controlled environment, utilising renewable energy and food-safe waste. The company’s approach resembles brewing practices, with fermentation tanks housing the yeast. After extraction, the resulting oil is suitable for all applications where palm oil is currently used.

Bio-equivalent palm oil

Source: Clean Food Group

Although Clean Food Group’s innovation holds significant promise, there are challenges to overcome. Achieving scalability, price parity with conventional palm oil, and securing regulatory approvals are crucial steps toward successful commercialisation.

Through its dedicated efforts, Clean Food Group is poised to offer an environmentally responsible alternative to palm oil 'within a year', catering to the demands of conscientious consumers and manufacturers alike but more importantly the lives of the sentient Orangutang.

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