Jean Zeid 06:52, September 26, 2023

Every morning, Jean Zeid delivers the best in innovation. This Tuesday, he is interested in the invention of a team based at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh that has succeeded in creating a new 100% plant-based ingredient to replace palm oil, named Palm-Alt.

On Tuesday morning, a substitute for palm oil was shortened in Scotland.

It is a food that is spilling a lot of ink: palm oil. Nearly half of food and cosmetics in supermarkets contain this most produced vegetable oil in the world, accounting for 40% of the total, according to WWF.

Why is it so popular? Because it is odorless and colorless, it does not alter the smell, taste or appearance of products.

It even adds a smooth texture and acts as a natural preservative. As a bonus, it retains its properties even at high temperatures, making it difficult to replace.

Except that its production requires the creation of agricultural areas in tropical forests in particular. Palm oil production is estimated to be responsible for 8% of global deforestation between 1990 and 2008.

And land use for palm oil cultivation increased almost ninefold between 1970 and 2020.

Except that a Scottish research team may have found a substitute for this palm oil.

A team based at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Their innovation? A new 100% plant-based ingredient, named PALM-ALT. It is made from a by-product of the flaxseed and rapeseed oil industry. Better for the environment, it would also contain 80% saturated fat and 30% fewer calories.

Above all, this PALM-ALT has been taste-tested. Result: Impossible to distinguish their product from traditional palm oil. Same taste, same texture.

Will we ever see this oil on our plates?

The research team believes in this, it has already applied for an international patent for its PALM-ALT and its production process. It is in discussions with potential manufacturers. This new substance has a mayonnaise-style consistency. It contains no palm and no coconut, nor does it contain added flavourings, sugar, sweeteners, preservatives or colourings. The last advantage of this promising PALM-ALT is that it is cheap to manufacture.