Say ALOHA to Ponova™ Oil: The Future of Regenerative Farming

3 Min Read

By: Kara Fujita, Brand Marketing Manager, Terviva



What if I told you regenerative farming of a supertree used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine could help reduce the world’s largest drivers of deforestation? What if it could help to revitalize the land, improve farmer livelihood, and provide delicious food?  


You’d want to try it, right?  


From Supertree to Superfood 


Say ALOHA to Ponova™ oil, a deforestation-free alternative to palm oil and soy featured in ALOHA's new Kona Bar. Delicious and highly sustainable, this new-to-the-world ingredient is made from the legumes of the pongamia tree.


ALOHA Kona Bar Ponova Oil
Dubbed a “supertree,”pongamia can grow on underutilized land, where other crops can’t grow. It’s climate-resilient and uniquely suited to meet today’s environmental challenges because it sequesters carbon while improving soil health and water quality.  


Ponova™ Oil: Regenerative Farming for Land and Community 

Historically used for reforestation in Asia, pongamia requires minimal water to grow and is naturally pest resistant. In fact, the Ponova™ oil in ALOHA’s Kona bar comes from the North Shore of O’ahu where pongamia trees are watered through collected rainwater, requiring little irrigation and no pesticides.


regenerative farming pongamia trees Hawaii

The beans are then hand-harvested and dried in the sun in a process that includes the use of solar-powered tools. It’s just one location where Terviva, a food and agriculture company dedicated to regenerative farming grows and harvests pongamia. 


climate resilient pongamia tree beans

From tree to plate, Terviva has created an equitable and transparent supply chain where it’s directly involved in every step of the harvesting and production process.

workers contributing to regenerative farming

In India, Terviva is establishing the TKS program (Terviva Karanja Sakhis) to uplift and prioritize women as leaders in its wild harvesting and collecting communities.

In Florida, the company partners with growers who are using pongamia as an alternative crop to citrus which has been severely impacted over the last 15 years by climate change and disease. 


Ponova oil India

From a single pongamia tree, which yields more beans per acre than soy, Terviva has discovered a simple way to transform its beans into an abundant and sustainable food source that benefits the lands and communities which grow it.   


What is Ponova™ Oil?  

Ponova™ oil is expeller pressed and lightly refined. Containing Omega-9’s, it’s a lightly flavored oil that’s comparable to olive oil, with a buttery mouthfeel that chefs love   


Ponova oil mid oleic oil
Similar to other vegetable oils, such as canola oil and sunflower oil, Ponova™ oil can be used as a cooking oil and as an ingredient in prepared foods such as plant-based protein bars, dairy substitutes, spreads, baked goods, snacks, and plant-based meats.   


Its golden color, slow melting curve and high smoke point improve a variety of products ranging from butters to burgers. In dairy and plant-based products, Ponova™ oil brings a full-bodied texture and mouthfeel. 


Planet Positive: The Future is Plant-Based  

With Ponova protein and flour on the horizon, Terviva is focused on more than what they are doing but on how they are doing it. As Terviva’s CEO Naveen Sikka puts it, “If we live in better balance with nature, together this planet will thrive.”  

In the past few years, more than ever people understand the interconnected relationship we have with the earth, and with each other. They want to know where their food comes from, who produced it, and how they did it.  


Pongamia trees Hawaii


So, while Terviva’s mission is to plant millions of trees to feed billions of people, what they’re really working on is changing the way we grow and produce our food. By using underdeveloped land and avoiding deforestation, they create space to revitalize the land so biodiversity can thrive. And through regenerative farming, they support an equitable and transparent supply chain empowering local and rural communities.  

Ultimately, it's this kind of local impact that can drive global change. And, when it comes packaged as a delicious new ingredient in ALOHA’s Kona Bar, which supports Hawaiʻi farmers and the next generation of environmental stewards, that impact multiplies. What began as a humble little bean from a unfamiliar tree reverberates big change, one delicious bite at a time.  


Ponova oil pongamia tree beans


About the Author

Kara Fujita

Kara Fujita leads brand strategy and marketing for Terviva and is passionate about transforming our food systems to create global change. With more than 15 years of international experience in brand design, innovation and communications for global FMCGs in Europe, Asia and North America, she believes transforming our food sources and supply chains can drive systemic change, addressing some of humanity's greatest challenges.

related articles

You Might Also Like

3 min

Eating vs. Drinking Caffeine: What’s the difference?

by Jake Luttrell, Team ALOHA, avid caffeine consumer   We all know that drinking coffee can...
Read More
4 min

The Plant-Based Diet Benefits for the Planet

By: Shelby Burns   Did you know that if everyone in the U.S. eliminated meat or...
Read More
6 min

The Benefits of Growing Your Own Food: Everything You Need to Know

Growing your own food are has become an increasingly popular trend in recent years. With...
Read More
4 min

What is a Plant-Based Diet? How to Eat Your Way to Better Health

By: Shelby Burns     What is a Plant-Based Diet?   Plant-based eating is one...
Read More