Because palm oil is a necessary ingredient in food production, Kao is looking into using algae as a viable substitute for oil palms. We’re focusing on research to procure more sustainable raw materials.
Oil procured from oil palms is used not only in products such as detergents and shampoos, but also as an ingredient in food products. As the world population increases and extreme weather changes reduce arable land, there are fears of food shortages in the future. As such, we expect the demand for palm oil to increase.
The rising demand for palm oil has already led to an increase in illegal logging, prompting concern over deforestation. For these reasons, Kao is seeking to develop more eco-friendly materials as an alternative to using palm oil in food products.
Through this research, our attention turned to microalgae. We discovered that some algae possess the ability to produce oil extremely similar to palm kernel oil. We are pursuing further research into the numerous practical applications of this discovery.
Culturing different species of algae and analyzing their properties
Many of the world’s research organizations are currently focusing on algae. Out of over 300,000 species of microalgae in existence, Kao’s biological science laboratories have selected over 1,200 different species for analysis.
In 2015, after seven years of research, Kao discovered algae that produce oil similar to palm kernel oil, which is used as a raw material for detergents, as well as algae that produce many fats and oils. We are also developing a method for effective extraction of these fats and oils. The oil extracted from algae can be used to make soap, shampoo, and other products for use around the world. We will pursue our research with these goals in mind.
Examining the different fats and oils from algae
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