Oil Crops pp 31-56 | Cite as

Modifying Vegetable Oils for Food and Non-food Purposes

  • Edgar B. Cahoon
  • Thomas E. Clemente
  • Howard G. Damude
  • Anthony J. Kinney
Part of the Handbook of Plant Breeding book series (HBPB, volume 4)


Oils and fats are an important source of energy for the human diet and also contribute significantly to the sensory characteristics of food. Many oils are also used for non-food applications, although industrial use currently accounts for only a small proportion of the world vegetable oil production, less than 5% of total production, mostly for biodiesel. About 80% of edible oils are derived from plant sources and temperate annual oil seeds (soy, rapeseed, sunflower and peanut) account for about 60% of this total. Soybean oil is by far the dominant oil in this category, accounting for over half of the world vegetable oil production.

Improving the functional and nutritional qualities of vegetable oils has garnered much attention over the last 15 years or so. This chapter will describe some of the attempts to genetically improve plant seed oils, with special emphasis on soybean oil, for food and non-food uses.

Modulating the Fatty Acid Content of Plant Oils for Food Uses



Oleic Acid Soybean Seed Ricinoleic Acid Oleic Acid Content Carbon Fatty Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Research on unusual fatty acid metabolism in the Cahoon lab is supported by the National Science Foundation (DBI- 0701919).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edgar B. Cahoon
    • 1
  • Thomas E. Clemente
    • 2
  • Howard G. Damude
    • 3
  • Anthony J. Kinney
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Plant Science Innovation and Department of BiochemistryUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of Horticulture and Agronomy, Center for Plant Science InnovationUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA
  3. 3.DuPont Experimental Station, Crop Genetics Research and DevelopmentWilmingtonUSA

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