DuPont has announced it has reached a regulatory milestone and the final step of the U.S. regulatory process with confirmation from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that its Plenish high oleic soybean trait has been approved for cultivation in the United States.
"Obtaining USDA deregulation for Plenish high oleic soybeans is an example of Pioneer's increased focus and capability in moving biotech traits through global regulatory systems and into farmers' fields," said Paul E. Schickler, president — Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. "This is a significant milestone as we work to develop biotech traits that provide direct consumer benefits and solid results in the fields."
Plenish high oleic soybeans from Pioneer contain the highest oleic acid content (more than 75 percent) of any soybean product under commercial development. This significantly increases the stability of the oil and provides greater flexibility in food applications, and yields a product with 0g trans fat. Plenish high oleic soybean oil also has 20 percent less saturated fat than commodity soybean oil, making it a more attractive ingredient for consumer food products.
"We continue to see solid results and strong interest from food companies looking for a soybean oil with consumer benefits and functionality," said Craig F. Binetti, president — DuPont Nutrition & Health. "This announcement allows our partners to move to the next phase of product testing and development with Plenish high oleic soybean oil."
High oleic soybean oil also presents opportunities for industrial applications. The high heat stability of this oil in industrial settings allows companies to develop renewable, environmentally enhanced alternatives to petroleum-based products such as lubricants, foams and adhesives.
"Growing Plenish high oleic soybeans adds value to the bottom line of my farming operation with comparable yields and demand for the improved oil produced," said Rob Roettger, a contract Plenish high oleic soybean grower from Dysart, Iowa.
Pioneer will launch the high oleic soybean trait in its industry-leading lineup of Pioneer brand Y Series soybean varieties, and field testing has confirmed yields on par with elite commercial products. Plenish high oleic soybeans will be grown under contract for ongoing field and oil testing in the United States and Canada in 2010 and 2011. Full commercialization of the trait is anticipated in 2012, upon global regulatory approvals and ongoing field testing.
Canada and Mexico were the first countries to complete regulatory reviews of the Plenish high oleic soybean trait. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed its review of Plenish high oleic soybeans in 2009 and this announcement from the USDA allows Plenish high oleic soybeans to be grown under contract for ongoing field testing in the United States and additional oil testing by major oil processors and food companies. Regulatory submissions for the trait also have been submitted to key soybean-importing countries around the world.