Palm Oil is a vegetable oil found in many of our products, from cosmetics to your favourite ice cream – it’s certainly useful, (we use 40 million tonnes of it each year), but environmentally friendly it is definitely not.
Due to its popularity, palm oil has led to major deforestation in south east asia, as plantations have destructed the natural habitat and caused greenhouse gas pollution. This has greatly threatened the lives of orangutans, whose lives are dependent on the indoesian rainforest.
Thankfully though, there may be a stop to this devastation, as scientists from Bath and York University undergo a four year funded project to create a yeast based alterative to the vegetable oil, deriving from sustainably sourced waste feed stocks. Metschnikowia Pulcherrima can be grown from a diverse number of food wastes, and produces a thick oil almost identical to palm oil.
Researchers are confident this enviromentally friendly alterative can be used on an industrial scale in the near future, so for those of you who’ve been consciously avoiding it, now there may be no need!