Yeast, Please! Meet Torula oil, the fungi-based palm oil alternative

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva


Palm oil production has been a significant environmental issue for many years due to the mass deforestation it causes worldwide. Its versatility makes it challenging for consumers to refrain from using it since sustainable palm oils are often mixed with conventionally (and unsustainably) produced versions. 

C16 Biosciences’ discovery of a palm oil alternative made from fungi is poised to revolutionise the industry and address the environmental threat caused by palm oil production. 

The new product, Torula Oil, is produced via C16 Biosciences’ yeast fermentation process. With this process, the company avoids agriculture altogether, a significant step towards sustainability.

Torula Oil is rich in carotenoids, sterols, antioxidants, and vitamin D and also boosts the performance of SPF products, making them versatile enough to be used across various industries, including food and beauty.

The company’s production process uses fermentation, which is highly efficient and requires less space, resulting in 250 times less land usage than the traditional output of palm oil. This circular fermentation system helps maintain food security without putting any strain on natural resources or arable land.

C16 added that it recently received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which will allow the company to expand its platform to develop food-grade oils and fats, furthering its impact on sustainability.

The company is already exploring applications for dairy products, proteins, and baby formula.

As alternatives like Palmless become more popular, it will become even easier for customers to make sustainable choices and steer clear of unsustainably produced palm oil for good. 

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.


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