Cutting-edge biotechnology company and Waldencast Ventures portfolio company C16 Biosciences has developed a new proprietary ingredient, Palmless™. A new bioengineered form of palm oil, developed through fermentation, Palmless™ is set to revolutionize multiple consumer industries by removing the need for the agricultural sourcing that has devastated much of the global south.
Palm oil is found in more than half of the packaged products Americans use, including foods like ice cream, household goods like detergent, and beauty products like lipstick and soap. The industry produces 81 million tonnes per year, and to feed this gigantic demand, producers chop down rainforest and burn vegetation, destroying biodiversity and harming air quality. Rainforest that’s cleared to make room for this deforestation is also home to endangered species including rhinos, elephants, orangutans and tigers.
But with Palmless™, consumer goods companies will be able to enjoy the benefits of palm oil that have made it so ubiquitous without the need for environmental savagery. Using fermentation, C16 Biosciences can grow a biodesigned alternative in their labs, sating demand and exceeding the usage profile of naturally-derived palm oil. Using a wild-type yeast microbe, fermentation has been proven as a robust, easy and scalable process. The speed at which microbes multiple also makes research fast and seamless.
“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,” Shara Ticku, co-founder and CEO of C16 Biosciences said in a statement to BusinessWire. “Brands using Palmless™ in their products demonstrate they are making every effort to reduce their impact on climate change, and that consumers are demanding it.
C16 Biosciences has already produced 50,000 liters of Palmless™, with the first products containing it appearing in the beauty sector in early 2023. However, Ticku says this is just the beginning: “Palmless™ is more than the start of the commercial roll-out of C16 Biosciences’ technology. It’s also about holding manufacturers and brands to a higher standard: a better option is available. There are no more excuses.”
Waldencast Ventures has offices in New York and London and has an investment portfolio in North America, Europe, and Latin America.