Innovation That Matters

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Sustainable oils and fats for food and cosmetics 

Food & Drink

A new process uses food waste and fermentation to create environmentally healthier versions of palm oil

Spotted: According to a market report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the State of Sustainability Initiatives, the conundrum facing palm oil producers is that “while the sector is a main driver of climate change through deforestation and land-use change,” the crop is “the most widely produced edible oil, meeting 40 per cent of global demand for vegetable oil on less than six per cent of all land dedicated to producing vegetable oils.”

The oil’s versatility means that it is used in many different food and cosmetic products, making it very difficult to find a sustainable replacement. Fermentation may be the key to meeting that challenge. UK foodtech company Clean Food Group uses food waste and large-scale fermentation to create sustainable oils and fats. Designed to replace traditionally grown products, the fermented versions grow on non-GMO yeast chosen for its speed and customisation capacity.  

Having recently raised £2.3 million to scale its operations, the company has already completed a 1,000 litre fermentation test. The results from the latest trials will be used to create the oils and fats that will be submitted for regulatory food and cosmetics approvals late in 2023. Clean Food Group plans to complete commercial scale trials and its Series A funding round in 2024.  

The company is working with industrial food specialists Alianza Team and Doehler Group to scale production capacity to industrial quantities as well as develop the products that will undergo compliance testing.  

Replacing standard chemicals with less toxic versions that also create less pollution during production is a challenge that is attracting the attention of innovators around the world. In Springwise’s library, examples of new manufacturing techniques include bio-based surfactants and AI-powered R&D

Written By: Keely Khoury



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