Seeking Highly Available and Affordable Alternatives to Palm Kernel Oil

Background / Description

Palm kernel oil is commonly used in commercial cooking, given its versatility and low cost of production. However, the cultivation of palm oil has come under increasing public scrutiny, due to its negative association with deforestation, which has resulted in the loss of natural habitats and threatened endangered species.

As a consequence, consumers are looking for palm kernel oil substitutes. Currently, a number of blends of different premium fats work as substitutes, but all of the available solutions have prohibitive cost structures. 

In view of this, a leading snacks company is seeking cost- and functionally-effective alternatives to palm kernel oil. The proposed solution should not be considered as a premium fat and should have a potentially fully scalable supply chain. The alternative can be a single drop in replacement or a blend of ingredients to cover the full functionality of the palm oils currently used.

Technical Specifications

The proposed solution sought must be able to meet the following specifications:

  • Mimic sensory properties of palm kernel oil, such as texture and melting behaviour
  • Mimic physical properties of palm kernel oil, such as melting point, etc. 
  • Mimic chemical properties of palm kernel oil, such as fatty acids profile that impacts processing (this specification is discretionary)
  • Cost advantaged compared to premium fats
  • Not considered “ultra-processed” foods  by consumers
  • Seen as sustainable, without any association with deforestation


Possible approaches include (and are not limited to):

  • New sources
  • Novel local oils, such as macaúba from cerrado areas in Brazil


What we are not interested in

We are not interested in the following: 

  • Coconut derived fats 
  • Hydrogenation as a process for obtaining the fat

Preferred Business Model

  • R&D Collaboration
  • Licensing
  • Business Collaboration (Joint Venture, Distribution)
  • Others

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