C16 Biosciences Launches Palmless Brand, Teases Torula Palm Alternative

Despite the attention of many stakeholders, issues linked to the production of palm oil have been ongoing since C16 Biosciences started its search for a sustainable alternative in 2018.
Despite the attention of many stakeholders, issues linked to the production of palm oil have been ongoing since C16 Biosciences started its search for a sustainable alternative in 2018.

C16 Biosciences has announced the launch of a consumer-facing manufacturing platform for producing next-generation oils and fats. Branded as Palmless, the fermentation and biotech-based platform makes its premiere with the development of a palm oil alternative as a solution to the problems of agricultural palm oil tied to deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss and abusive labor practices. 

The first Palmless brand ingredient, torula oil, will be launched in the beauty sector in early 2023 as a palm oil alternative. Described as a "luxe bio-designed oil that sits at the intersection of performance moisturization and innovation," the ingredient is reportedly rich in signature carotenoids and sterols from its fungal origin, and promoted as beauty's new "super ingredient."

These palm oil developments come two years after C16 Biosciences closed a $20 million series A investment round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Waldencast, Future Tech Labs and others. 

Related: BASF Introduces Crypto Blockchain for Sustainable Palm Kernel Oil

Shara Ticku, co-founder and CEO of C16 Biosciences, said: “The launch of Palmless is a big step forward in making a palm oil alternative a reality. Consumer brands have been seeking a palm alternative for years, but have lacked a real solution–until now.”

Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures commented: “Palmless becoming a challenger brand is an important next step as it will give consumers the power to choose products that do less harm.”

Palm oil is found in approximately 50% of products on supermarket shelves and demand for the ingredient continues to grow, according to C16 Biosciences. In response, U.S. imports of palm oil have increased by nearly 30% since 2014, per data cited by C16, underscoring the need for sustainable alternatives.

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