Driving sustainability in the edible oils and fats industry

The refining of edible oils and fats is a key process in the food and beverage supply chain. In this day and age, where sustainability is top of mind for customers and consumers alike, how do process efficiency and technology intersect to reduce carbon footprint and improve food safety? Jakob Helms, CEO of JJ-Lurgi, the life sciences joint venture of Jebsen & Jessen Group, shares insights on the latest sustainability challenges and solutions.

Across the globe, oils and fats play an important part in the commodity market on which many key sectors depend. This rings especially true in the Southeast Asia region, which is well known for its production and export of edible oil and modified fat by-products such as cooking oils, butter and margarine, among others.

In particular, palm oil is one of the most dominant and efficient oils in the world, with Indonesia and Malaysia producing 84% of the global supply. Palm is the highest yielding crop for cooking oil and arguably the most sustainable option, requiring between four to 10 times less land area to get the same amount of oil yield compared to other crops like soybean, coconut and sunflower.

Discussions surrounding the environmental impacts of edible oil production, such as loss of land area, deforestation, wastage and carbon footprint, have given rise to the due need for sustainable practices. In particular, this is due to increased awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns in capital expenditures as a key point in making investment decisions; a desire to improve operational efficiency in terms of utility consumption and manpower; adherence to legislation; and a growing preference for safe, pure and organic food products.

Customers have been looking to improve their practices by getting to the root of the environmental impact of the oil and fat refining process. 

The full article can be found on Food & Beverage Asia’s October/November 2022 issue here.