Palm is fast becoming the biggest issue for the cosmetic chemist as more and more companies seek to create a gap between their brand and images of rain forest devastation. While it is relatively easy to swap the oil for another vegetable based carrier, it is almost impossible to extract palm from other parts of the formulation. With laboratory development time at a premium and customers demanding shorter lead times we think it is about time that we delved a little deeper into the palm forest to get a better understanding of the issue and how we can help solve it. An estimated 150 million tonnes of Palm is produced each year and this figure is growing due to increased global demand for consumer goods and 'greener' technologies. Of that 150 million tonnes around 30 million goes on to make surfactants for a wide range of industries (that 30 million tonnes represents one quarter of the total feedstock used by the surfactants industry. Another quarter comes from other vegetable sources and half is petroleum derived).