ZeaKal tweaked genetic characteristics of the plantto improve their rate of photosynthesis. In soybeans, it claims that PhotoSeed technology has consistently resulted in improved oil and protein content while improving the plant sustainability index.
San Diego -based biotech reports that, during the 2021 growth period, PhotoSeed soybean events increase oil composition by 12% while increasing protein at some point.
Add for chicken feedthat
For Perdue, with its grain and oil processing business and poultry production arm, under the Perdue Foods entity, increasing the oil and protein content of soybeans is critical to the mission.
Perdue AgriBusiness handles about three million acres worth of soybeans each year. Converting this acre to PhotoSeed soy, as it were, means growers will benefit from a higher crop value and Perdue will gain access to seeds with improved oil and higher yields. protein in the resulting diet.
“As we examined our supply chain, it became clear that moving up to access better seed genetics could increase cost and sustainability in ways that other solutions cannot. PhotoSeed soy is improving, we expect it to be a turning point for Perdue in processing soy and specialty oils, while improving feed quality, ”According to Perry Aulie, senior VP of value-added products, Perdue AgriBusiness.
Harvesting the cost of nutritional value
Traditionally, adding oil or protein meant sacrificing one or reducing yield. This is because soy oil and protein have historically had an opposite relationship: if the oil goes up by 1%, the protein goes down by 2% and the improvement in composition often has a penalty on yield.
But ZeaKal admits that PhotoSeed decouples the inverse oil-protein relationship. It raises both of these co-products of crops while maintaining the yields demanded by farmers.
Farmers have historically been paid for their crop yields, which sadly mandated seed R&D to prioritize yield, often at the expense of nutritional quality, biotech said. In soybeans, it has led to a steady decline in protein levels over the past decade, it says.
“Year-over-year growth in soy yields comes at the cost of nutritional density (selling protein for carbohydrates), forcing end users to look for alternatives. that
“Misaligned incentives along the supply chain contribute to this problem; as end users value oil and protein, while growers — and indirectly, seed companies — are paid for the yield (BU/acre). Protein demand was met with increasing acreage, resulting in the destruction of natural habitats and community displacement.that
“These conflicting incentives will result in a race to the bottom, undermining the cost and demand of soy.”that
Moving to the soy market
Former Bunge procurement director, Gordon Denny, who is on the ZeaKal advisory board and who also advises the United Soybean Board and U.S. Soybean Export Council, previously commented that the global soybean market is set to see many structural changes. “Even if we focus on protein, oil pressure is even more urgent. Without new technology like PhotoSeed, which can fairly provide the desired grain composition, the food system will have a hard time meeting the demand for high energy and nutrition crops in the next decade without much pressure on food security and prices.that
Zeakal weighed that. Historically, it says, soybean oil has accounted for about 33% of the value of a bushel of soybeans. It is now expected that soybean oil will exceed 50% of the value of the bean due to the unprecedented global demand for renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.
It is expected that the improved oil and protein from PhotoSeed will add to the value of US $ 6B for the soybean plant.
A start to watchthat
Michael Lavin, founder and managing partner of Chicago-based, Germin8 Ventures, a purpose-driven VC firm that invests in companies to improve the global food system, said on this site,in May last year, that ZeaKal was a watch company:
“ZeaKal is a startup with interesting science. It can improve the nutritional profile of soybeans but there is no drag on yield and that is something that feed markets need, this technology can benefit a market like aquaculture, a the agricultural sector that needs to outsize traditional fishing, certainly by 2050 to meet demand and create a sustainable food system. ”that