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Is this new palm oil alternative 'the holy grail'?

Words by Abi Scaife

It’s finally here - the eco-friendly palm oil alternative.

What’s the story?

Palm oil has been a hot topic in recent years. A natural preservative that is smooth, odourless, and tasteless, it is used in myriad cosmetic and food products. Its use is so prolific that it accounts for 40% of vegetable oil use in the world.

Unfortunately, it has also led to huge deforestation near the equator. Trees that produce this palm oil are decimated for mass production, leading to ecological decline and biodiversity loss.

So, tell me about the alternative.

A Scottish research team believe they may have produced what they are calling “the holy grail to replace palm oil”. PALM-ALT is created from a byproduct of the linseed industry, and contains 25% less fat and 88% less saturated fat - so is better for us, as well as the planet.

Plus, as it’s a byproduct of an already existing industry, it isn’t contributing to deforestation - all while helping produce the same delicious foods we’re used to.

PALM-ALT was developed by Dr Julien Lonchamp, Reader in Food Science, and Catriona Liddle, Head of the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation (SCFDI) at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The Climate Coalition. This is the UK's largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change. Find out more and support them here.

Climate Reframe.  Climate Reframe is committed to supporting the climate and environment movement in its transformation towards greater justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). Find out more.

The Woodland Trust. This is the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, concerned with the creation, protection, and restoration of native woodland heritage. Support them here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs