DuPont and Bunge have expanded their three-year soy collaboration beyond food and nutrition products to include biofuels, industrial applications and other opportunities.
The first product introduced by the partnership was low-linolenic soybean oil. Other products are in the pipeline, including soy oils with high oleic and a combination of high oleic and high stearic oil content.
Soybean oil is a mixture of five fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids) that have very different properties and functionalities. Low-linolenic oil has 1-3% linolenic acid content compared to 7% for normal soybeans. The “ low-lin” oil reduces the need for hydrogenation, thereby reducing or eliminating trans fats—a boon for health-conscious consumers.
Different combinations, however, could provide benefits for biodiesel producers. For example, modifying or reducing palmitic and stearic acid esters while optimizing oleic acid esters could improve cold flow properties, according to an assessment by the US Department of Agriculture. Other combinations might improve the cetane numbers.
DuPont is increasing its efforts to deliver new technologies to the growing biofuels market, including: improving biofuel production through improved seed and crop protection products; developing new technologies to allow conversion of cellulose to biofuels; and developing next generation biofuels, including biobutanol.
In addition to developing corn hybrids for ethanol, DuPont subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., is characterizing Pioneer brand soybean varieties for oil content to determine impact on biodiesel production.
To reflect their broader collaboration, DuPont and Bunge are launching a new brand name—TREUS—for the family of soy products developed by the partnership. The low-linolenic soybean oil produced from Pioneer brand soybean varieties, and previously marketed as NUTRIUM Low Linolenic Soybean Oil, will now be marketed as TREUS Low Linolenic Soybean Oil.