Soybean oil has historically been partially hydrogenated to enhance its oxidative stability in order to increase shelf life and improve frying characteristics. This process, however, creates trans-unsaturated fatty acids, or trans fats. The discovery that dietary trans fats increase the risk of several health issues led the FDA to ban the use of partially hydrogenated oils, in processed foods, by all food manufacturers from June 18, 2018. Using its cutting-edge plant breeding techniques, Calyxt developed a soybean trait that has produced oil with a fatty acid profile that contains approximately 80% oleic acid, 20% less saturated fatty acids compared to commodity soybean oil, and zero trans fats per serving. TALEN® technology is a precise genome editing tool that creates targeted cleavage of specific chromosomal sequences leading to knockout mutations at specific loci. To date, other crop species, such as wheat, potato and canola, have been edited by Calyxt to produce healthier foods and food ingredients.
Audience Take Away: The audience will learn about current consumer trends and problems, and how they can be addressed through the use of modern breeding techniques such as gene editing.
Javier earned his Ph.D. in Plant Genetics in 2011 from the University of Cordoba (Spain) and received post-doctoral training at the University of Minnesota with Dr. Voytas between 2012-2015, where he gained expertise in the use of genome-editing tools for precise modification of plant genomes. He is the co-inventor of several patents and has more than 20 scientific publications. Javier joined Calyxt in 2015 and is currently the Company’s Product Portfolio Manager. In his role, he manages projects from ideation to commercialization, coordinating cross-functional teams to deliver food ingredients with improved nutritional value for consumers.