Soybean oil has historically been partial hydrogenated to enhance its oxidative stability in order to increase shelf life and improve frying characteristics. This process, however, creates unsaturated trans fats, which have been demonstrated to raise low density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol levels and contribute to cardiovascular diseases. The discovery that dietary trans fats increase the risk of several health issues led to a FDA ruling in 2003 to require mandatory labeling of trans fat in 2006, with a full ban in 2018. Since FDA’s 2003 ruling, commodity soybean oil has been quickly losing market share to other vegetable oils such as canola and sunflower oil. Calyxt has developed a new soybean variety that produces oil with a fatty acid profile that contains 80% oleic acid, and 20% less saturated fatty acids compared to commodity soybean oil and zero trans fats.
The high level of oleic acid in our soybean oil enhances oxidative stability more than fivefold when compared to commodity soybean oil and also offers a threefold increase in fry-life. This eliminates the need for partial hydrogenation. Furthermore, our high oleic soybean oil offers additional benefits including reduced saturated fats, reduced polymerization and neutral taste. Phase III development has been completed, and we are currently completing our commercialization plan and anticipate beginning commercial sales in 2018. The uniqueness of Calyxt’s business model allows it to generate revenues from three sources – seed, soybean meal and high oleic soybean oil.
In addition, our high oleic soybean product candidate can be stacked with other soybean traits. Some examples are listed below: