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Agri food tech

Doehler invests in Clean Food Group to accelerate the market approval of its fermented palm oil alternative

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Molly Long
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Image courtesy of Laurie Lapworth, University of Bath


A truly sustainable palm oil alternative may be one step closer to supermarket shelves following ingredients company Doehler Group’s investment in Clean Food Group.

Clean Food Group made headlines earlier this year after raising £1.65M in funding to start production of its cultivated yeast-based palm oil alternative.

The business, which uses fermentation to develop a range of ingredients including fats, proteins and flavours for the food and cosmetic industry, acquired the intellectual property to produce the bioidentical yeast-based palm oil alternative from the University of Bath in the first quarter of 2022.

The palm oil alternative has taken eight years and over £4.4M to be developed by Professor of Bioprocess Engineering at the University of Bath’s Department of Chemical Engineering Chris Chuck [pictured above] and his team, and is now ready for scale-up and commercialisation.

As part of an accompanying collaboration agreement, Doehler will support the scale up of the Clean Food Group’s technology, demonstrating production at commercial scale as well as manufacturing product batches required for market approval.

The two groups plan to continue the strategic partnership in the future, as Clean Food Group continues to develop its category offerings.

It is hoped that Clean Food Group’s alternative will help reduce the detrimental environmental impact of the usage of natural palm oil. The food industry relies heavily on the ingredient for everything from bread, to instant noodles, cookies and margarine. Indeed, some estimates state nearly 50% of all packaged products on supermarket shelves contain the ingredient.

Palm oil production continues to be a major driver of deforestation of some of the world’s most biodiverse habitats, impacting critically endangered species like the orangutan, Borneo pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino. This process, when combined with the conversion of carbon-rich peat soils, is releasing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to the climate crisis. 

Alex Neves, co-founder and CEO of Clean Food Group said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Doehler Group, a leading manufacturer and innovator within the area of technology-driven natural ingredients and ingredient systems. 

“With Doehler Group’s support, we are excited to accelerate the scale-up of our ground-breaking technology, which will allow us to bring our sustainable palm oil alternative to market more quickly.”

Explore the issue of palm oil usage in this episode of the Food Matters Live Podcast:

Palm Oil – why banning it might not be the answer

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