Bio-based oils for foods and industry

We are developing novel seed, leaf and algal-based materials for more intensive and efficient production of plant oils for both industrial and nutritional uses.

The Challenge

Meeting the population growth challenge

Humans have come to rely heavily on mineral oil for both energy and petrochemical needs. In the coming decades, rising demand driven by population increases and shrinking reserves of mineral oil will require that the energy and petrochemical needs be met from other, more renewable, sources. In addition, population growth will drive the need for increased nutrition and calories from our agriculture systems.

These two challenges must be met simultaneously  and sustainably.

Our Response

Expanding plant oil uses and production

Plant oils are already an important source of energy and nutrition in the human diet, and are also uniquely suited for expanded use as industrial raw materials and substitutes for current petrochemicals. We are using cutting edge biotechnology to greatly expand plant oil production capacity, by dramatically increasing productivity in current oil crops and by developing and introducing novel oil production platforms. We are also tailoring plant oil composition to make them more suitable for specific food, feed and industrial uses.

Case studies

  • Omega-3 canola

    We are developing canola crops that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

  • SHO safflower

    Our researchers have produced safflower seed oil that contains over 92 per cent oleic acid – called Super-High Oleic (SHO) safflower. SHO safflower has the highest level of purity of an individual fatty acid present in any currently available plant oils.


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