Tue. Jan 18th, 2022


Above the zoom, Keleher showed a bluish picture of a yeast strain owned by Xylom, made from an oil-producing species. Lipomyces starkeyi. Through a microscope, the yeast resembles dish soap. “You’re looking at yeast which is literally squashed,” he said. “Because of the amount of oil produced in this yeast, they have been crushed on the outer wall.” Feeding corn syrup, the genetically modified strain is able to give up most of its total weight of lipids. “If we keep feeding ourselves sugar, they do just that,” Kelehar said. “They grow up.”

In 2013, Jeffries, now president of Xylom, noticed that the oil obtained from this strain was significantly like palm oil, which is valuable for its distinctive blend of saturated and unsaturated fats. This mixture is solid at room temperature and liquid at body temperature উপযুক্ত suitable for chocolate coatings, soaps and cosmetics. Other parts of versatile palm oil are used in fuels, solvents, lubricants and many other products, especially in China, India and Indonesia.

The resemblance of yeast oil to palm oil was discovered – Xylom was going for diesel. But Jeffries and Kelehar realized that palm oil could be an alternative when Kelehar’s daughter told him of her growing interest in palm-oil-free cosmetics to address the environmental concerns identified over the years. International activism Targets sustainable palm oil.

Although palm oil production is responsible for less than 1 percent of global deforestation, according to a 2018 report Report From the International Union for Conservation of Nature, it is a major cause of deforestation in the tropics. In Borneo, for example, oil palms have grown more than half of all deforestation in the last two decades. Future demand could contribute to more deforestation. The same report found that more than 1 million square miles of biodiversity hotspots could be threatened by oil palm cultivation, potentially more than 40 percent of all endangered birds, mammals and amphibians, from orangutans and tigers to flycatchers and elephants. This forest also causes deforestation Greenhouse gas emissions, Since the carbon-rich peat made at the bottom of the virgin forest is drained, and the land for planting trees is burned to clear it.

Acknowledging these effects, suppliers work through companies such as Roundtable meeting on sustainable palm oil The RSPO, a certified palm oil supply chain since 2007, has sought ways to increase oversight of palm oil production to ensure that crops are not grown on biodiversity or carbon-rich soils. Janice Lee, an environmental scientist studying palm oil at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, says that although a growing number of palm growers are certified, the method has limitations. For example, it can be difficult to certify small owners, who collectively represent the majority of palm oil production in some areas. “Certification is not a silver bullet,” he said. About 20 percent of palm oil production is certified by RSPO.

Finding alternatives to palm oil has proven to be even more challenging. Other tropical oils – such as coconut oil – yield less oil than palm oil and are more likely to be cultivated on the same scale. Other non-tropical oils যেমন such as soy or corn oil পারে may be grown outside of the biodiversity-rich tropics, but many applications require additional processing to replace palm oil. This processing is expensive, and it produces trans fat, which was banned by the FDA in the United States in 2015.

Kelleher and Jeffries decided to market their yeast as a good alternative. The germs in their lab make an oil with almost identical lipid profile like palm oil. “Bugs” as they refer to yeast can also be fed with ingredients that do not require tropical farming, such as corn or sugarcane or waste products, such as corn husks and wheat stalks, which can significantly reduce production costs. Bacterial oils can also be produced anywhere, reducing the distance between the factory and the consumer.



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