Palm oil is widely used in the manufacture and production of food and cosmetics ranging from instant noodles to lipstick. This edible vegetable oil is also used to a lesser extent in biofuel production. Today, world production of palm oil and palm kernel oil is around 50 million tonnes per annum.
The oil palm is a very productive crop, and that’s why the two biggest producers of palm oil, Indonesia and Malaysia, can produce and process around 20 million tonnes each per year.
But, palm oil production attracts criticism the world over. Deforestation and the destruction of natural habitats, such as tropical rain forests, are some of the detrimental effects of palm oil plantations.
Palm oil has some very desirable properties, including an exceptionally high melting point and high saturation levels, so it’s easy to see why the palm oil industry isn’t slowing down, despite environmental and sustainability issues.
Researchers at the University of Bath, UK may have discovered a revolutionary palm oil substitute – yeast.