Alternative Proteins My take on it all Synthetic Biology

Palm oil replacement technology

Alternative fats and oils from non-genetically modified yeast from NoPalm Ingredients could replace palm oil. They’re not just a substitute for existing tropical oils as they’re “tuneable” for fatty acid profile so could actually offer improved performance to manufacturers. This could open up many opportunities for food manufacturers to improve their products. It seems to me that the products could even be tuned for use as the fat component in alternative protein products.

Circular economy

Another advantage of the NoPalm technology is that their yeast can be grown on sidestream or waste products. NoPalm “crushes side streams such as potato peels, rejected vegetables, or any other biomass that contains either sugar, organic acids, or alcohol, to ferment with yeast.” So this process is another way of achieving a circular food economy.

Why is palm oil important?

Palm oil is used in a staggering array of products, from food like pizza and doughnuts to cosmetics and detergents. In fact it’s found in over half of all US packaged products. If the next 2bn people on the planet consume only the current global average of 8 kg per person this translates to a staggering increased requirement of some 18 million metric tons of palm oil! Imagine the deforestation….

The future

Unless we find alternatives the expanding global population and middle classes will mean that ever increasing amounts of palm oil will be required. This could have devastating environmental consequences and palm oil substitutes are desperately required. This technology is one way to address the problem and another tool for reimagining the global food system and localising food production. This localisation will increase regional and country level food security and create a far more robust and resilient food system.

The expansion of the global population and middle classes means that reimagining our global food system is of paramount importance to sustainably and equitably feeding the world.

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