Seed World

Calyxt Completes Second Year of Field Trials of its High Oleic Soybean Product

Calyxt Inc., a Minnesota-based company focusing on developing healthier food products to benefit both consumers and farmers, completes the second year of multi-location field trials in Minnesota and South Dakota of its high oleic/no trans fat soybean variety.
For many food applications, standard soybean oil is hydrogenated to improve heat stability and shelf life. This process also increases the amount of saturated fatty acids and creates trans-fats, which have been linked to numerous human health issues. Calyxt has created a non-transgenic variety of soybean with elevated levels of monounsaturated (oleic) fatty acids and decreased levels of saturated fatty acids (palmitic and acid) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic). Compared to standard soybean oil, the Calyxt soybean variety generates oil that eliminates the need for hydrogenation.
The oleic acid content (81%) achieved in Calyxt’s high oleic soybean variety is equal to or exceeds the oleic acid level of transgenic, high oleic soybean varieties currently being grown in the U.S. In addition, the yield of the Calyxt variety in these field trials was equivalent to current conventional varieties, putting Calyxt on the road for a commercial launch of its non-transgenic variety in the next couple of years. Counter-season seed production is currently underway to facilitate a commercial launch in the U.S. while additional field trials are conducted over the next few growing seasons.
“With the recent ban (July 2015) of trans fat products by the FDA, high oleic soybean varieties will likely become the next commodity soybean. The very high amount of oleic acid consistently observed in our field trials demonstrates that our high oleic soybean variety would not only be non-transgenic but also best-in-class to other transgenic high oleic varieties, positioning us as a potential leader,” said Dan Voytas, Chief Scientific Officer of Calyxt, Inc.