Industrial oil crops: when will then finally deliver on their promise?

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Most inform readers are aware of the large number of articles over the past few decades that have highlighted the promise of new types of industrial oils from crop plants. As a researcher in this area since the 1970s, I am one of many who have regularly pointed out the vast range of possible industrial oils that could be obtained from plants. Indeed it is now more than 15 years since I edited a book, optimistically entitled Designer Oil Crops (VCH Publishing, Weinheim, Germany, 1994), that described the brave new world of customized oil crops that could be bred or engineered for dozens of nonfood applications, from polymers to highvalue cosmetics. However, as we approach the second decade of the 21st century, only a very few of these new oils have achieved any significant commercialization. The purpose of this article is to briefly survey the near- to medium-term prospects for the industrial oil crops sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749 - 751, 800
Number of pages4
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • industrial oils
  • crop plants
  • customized oil crops


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