Palm oil alternative good for human, environmental health

A discovery by University of Guelph food scientists could lead to a healthier, more affordable and more sustainable substitute for palm oil, which poses health and environmental problems.

Palm oil is high in saturated fats, which increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Felling tropical forests for large-scale palm oil plantations, especially in Southeast Asia, destroys habitat and threatens biodiversity.

“Both the sustainability and health sides are important,” ~ Nicholson.

The study is the first to demonstrate the use of a process called enzymatic glycerolysis to turn liquid vegetable oils into solid fats.

Testing cottonseed and peanut oils to make margarine and peanut butter, food science professor Dr. Alejandro Marangoni and PhD student Reed Nicholson made solid fats with desired textural and structural properties.

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