Knowledge for Development

Cocoa butter and synthetic biology


Date: 25/08/2014


The synthetic biology company Solazyme could threaten the livelihoods of millions of farmers. This California-based company has engineered synthetically modified microbes that produce a cocoa butter substitute for use in food and personal care products. At present, cocoa butter, the main ingredient of chocolate, is produced in 30 tropical countries and provides livelihoods for an estimated 6 million smallholder farmers. The world’s top three cocoa-producing countries are Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia, which together account for over two-thirds of all cocoa bean production.    

(ETC Group, 3/07/2013) 

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