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12th October 2023  Editorial by: newprotein staff writer

A Healthier and More Sustainable Alternative to Palm Oil

Researchers at Queen Margaret University have formulated a healthier and more sustainable alternative to palm oil.

Palm Fat is widely used in the bakery sector owing to its texturising, shortening, foam stabilisation, and mouthfeel properties, but the over-cultivation of palm oil has a devasting impact on the environment, resulting in deforestation, loss of habitats, harmful emissions, and climate change.

Funded by Innovate UK's Sustainable Innovation Fund, Dr. Julien Lonchamp, Reader in Food Science, and Catriona Liddle, Head of the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation (SCFDI), have formulated PALM-ALT using a by-product from the linseed industry, fibre and rapeseed oil.

Healthier than palm oil, PALM-ALT has less total fat and less saturated fat and increased fibre and protein. It is also allergen-free and coconut-free, and has no added sugar, sweeteners, flavourings, or colourings.  It is 100% plant-based and clean-label.

Dr. Julien Lonchamp remarked, "We set out to develop a new ingredient that would not only be better for the environment but also healthier than palm fat and current alternatives.  Following a preliminary study to show the potential of a novel ingredient composed of a linseed industry by-product, fibre, and rapeseed oil, the QMU team secured funding from Innovate UK to demonstrate the feasibility of PALM-ALT, develop its production to factory level, and collaborate with a range of food companies to develop palm-free versions of their commercial products.”

The team would like to connect with food companies who are interested in replacing palm-based fat in their products using the novel ingredient.

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Date Published: 12th October 2023

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