The managing director of a company commercialising a safflower variety with unprecedented levels of oleic acid expects the first commercial plantings to take place in July 2018 after another successful trial.
Michael Kleinig, GO Resources, said the super high oleic safflower (SHOS) was developed jointly by CSIRO and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) using RNA interference (RNAi) also known as gene silencing technology as part of the Crop Biofactories project.
Although not a traditional genetically modification (GM) process, the use of RNAi still requires approval from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR).
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The end use focus will be on the industrial market.
The oil replicates the use of synthetic oils and lubricants used in industrial applications.
“Because of its profile, the oil needs few additions before it can be used industrially, making it a real alternative to petroleum-based products,” Mr Kleinig said.
Although the industrial market is the primary focus, high oleic oil is also sought after by the food services sector, especially as a stable frying oil with a high burning point.
With this in mind, Mr Kleinig said the company would also look to get Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approval for the product.
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