Biotech Alliance Changes Product Name

Pioneer and Bunge are scrapping Nutrium in favor of Treus.

Published on: Aug 29, 2006

The enhanced foods market is a growing competitive situation these days and the major players are constantly tweaking their approaches. For Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Bunge Corp., that means a product name change announced Tuesday morning at the Farm Progress Show.

The two companies have been in a biotech marketing joint venture since 2003 when they joined forces with the creation of Solae, the marketer of high-end soy protein to food companies. "That venture has grown to include more than $1.1 billion in sales," says Erik Fyrwald, group vice president, DuPont Agriculture and Nutrition.

The joint venture later added low-linolenic soybean oil called Nutrium. They've also been looking at industrial markets for biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol. But given this increasing number of markets, Troy Hobbs, Bunge/DuPont Pioneer Biotech Alliance, says the Nutrium name no longer fit.

"The name was associated with nutrition, but our mission has expanded," he says. Beyond nutrition, the joint venture is looking at sustainability and functionality, he adds.

"That's why we've chosen the name Treus," Hobbs says. "We're looking at those three elements in the market. Treus - pronounced TREE-us - will become the major name used by the joint venture for its current low-lin soybean line. The name will also become part of the high-omega-3 oil line, and the high-oleic/high-stearic soybean oils that are coming online in the next three years.

The Treus line of low-lin soybeans - formerly called Nutrium - started with 35,000 acres in 2005, jumped to 200,000 acres in 2006 and plans are to more than double the acreage for the '07 season. This is a competitive market as food companies look for healthy ways to eliminate trans fatty acids from their foods and labels, without a move to tropical oils that can bring along a high level of saturated fat too.

Farmers will be hearing more about Treus this fall as Bunge and Pioneer work to book more acres to grow the low-lin crop; and more new products and technologies come on stream in the next few years.

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