What's in a name? Good question, and one that Pioneer may be asking in the future. The company is rolling out it's latest technology, a high-oleic line of soybeans offering a lot of potential for use in a range of new markets. And the name of the new line? Plenish. In fact, Plenish will be the name used by the company for future enhanced nutrition products as well.
The company, which announced the name this morning, noting that the first product wth the Plenish brand will be a line of soybeans containing the high-oleic soybean oil trait. That seed will be rolled out, in limited quantities, for season 2010, pending regulatory approval. And you'll find seeds with Pioneer's Accelerated Yield Technology - or the Y gene - included. In addition, the trait will be included in soybeans that have key defensive agronomic traits as well including soybean cyst nematode resistance, and protection against phytophthora and sudden death syndrome.
Initially, seed will be available in Group 2 and Group 3 maturity ranges. Steve Schnebly, who works in research at Pioneer, adds that within a few years the traits will be available in soybeans from Group 0 through Group 5. "We'll see those added maturities by 2014 to 2016," he says.
In the specialty oils category, Pioneer has already been selling the Treus line of low-linolenic soybeans, which has been planted on more acres. However, in past presentations on the high-oleic product, Pioneer experts have discussed the value of this oil profile over the low-lin trait. John Muenzenberger, business manager for specialty oils at Pioneer, notes that Plenish will provide nutritionally enhanced oil with the highest oleic content in soybeans under commercial development.
"This meets food industry needs and consumer demand for a soy-based trans fat solution," Muenzenberger says, in a press statement. "Plenish high oleic soybean oil will provide the high stability and performance of partially hydrogenated oil that food companies need without the trans fat and with lower saturated fats."
Muenzenberger says there will be a per-bushel premium for growers that raise the seed, but that has not been determined yet. Like the current low-lin seed product, the Plenish high-oleic product will be raised by specialty soybean growers involved in closed-loop identity preserved contracts with processors. He adds that the traits offered by the high-oleic soybean, which enhance its usefulness will eventually push the low-line product from the market.
Pioneer has worked with Bunge on the Treus low-lin product line, and will continue that relationship with the first Plenish line. Muenzenberger says Pioneer is also involved in an "outreach to numerous custoemrs throughout the value chain."
In extensive testing, Pioneer found that Plenish has 90% oleic acid, which can significantly increase the stability of oil when used in frying and food processing applications. Testing also shows that Plenish has 20% less saturated fatty acid, including 40% less palmitic acid than commodity soybeans and 75% less saturated fat than palm oil.
The Plenish high oleic soybean oil trait received Canadian regulatory approval in May. Pioneer completed U.S. regulatory submissions for approval of the high oleic soybean oil trait in December 2006. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed its review of Plenish high oleic soybeans earlier this year and USDA is in the process of reviewing the trait. Regulatory submissions for the trait are planned or have been completed in key soybean importing countries around the world.