About half of all packaged goods found in grocery stores contain palm oil, because this product is versatile, grows efficiently for better yields and has low production costs. However, palm oil comes at a high cost to the environment, and its production is a leading cause of deforestation around the world.
As a potential alternative, researchers at Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh, UK have developed PALM-ALT, which they found to not only be better for the environment but also a healthier substitute.
PALM-ALT is made from a byproduct of linseed (or flaxseed) production along with natural fiber and rapeseed oil. The palm oil substitute is about 70% better for the environment (based on carbon emissions) compared to palm oil!
PALM-ALT was made to substitute palm oil in baked goods, like cookies and cakes, without impacting characteristics like texture or flavor. It has a consistency similar to mayonnaise. The resulting substitute has 88% less saturated fat and 25% less fat overall compared to palm oil, according to the researchers.