Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., November 15, 2016 – Calyxt, Inc., a Minnesota-based company developing healthier food products to benefit both consumers and growers, today announced that the Company has completed the 2016 expansion of its high-oleic/no trans-fat soybean variety (CAL1501) in the U.S. with a production of 1,200 tons of beans.
In Spring 2016, Calyxt planted 942 acres (381 hectaresin six U.S. states – Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. To date, the Company has harvested approximately 45,000 bushels. We intent to use a substantial portion of the harvest for a first industrial scale crush.
The high-oleic/low saturated fat oil from this new variety of soybean, with a high-oleic acid content, is designed to eliminate the need for hydrogenation, a process that improves heat stability and shelf life of conventional soybean oil. The process of hydrogenation contributes to the production of trans-fatty acids, which, when consumed, raises low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol levels and contributes to cardiovascular diseases.
Based on a thorough review of the scientific evidence, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans-fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in human food and should be banned by 2018. Calyxt’s variety of soybeans has a fatty acid profile that’s very similar to that of olive oil, with the added benefit of an approximate 20 percent decrease in saturated fatty acids compared to standard soybean oil.
“The Calyxt team is dedicated to bringing to market food ingredients with healthier characteristics for consumers, and given that the food industry needs to remove trans-fat from products while maintaining high heat performance, high-oleic soybean varieties fulfill a large need for the food sector,” said Federico Tripodi, Calyxt’s CEO. “Most importantly, with this year’s high quality production, Calyxt is in a prime position to gain scale to commercialize this product in a near future.”
In mid-2015, Calyxt received two letters from the USDA confirming that the Company’s high-oleic and low-linolenic varieties are non-regulated, as no foreign DNA is added in the development process.