Innovations in Oils

Transitioning to renewable resources


Safflower has been developed into a source of oil having extremely high levels (93%) of the monounsaturated oleic acid (C18:1). The super-high oleic (SHO) oil has exceptional stability making it ideal for direct use either as a cooking oil, or in a range of high-value industrial applications. It can also be used as an oleochemical feedstock to create the building blocks for renewable chemicals and polymers.

SHO Safflower was developed by CSIRO and GRDC under their Crop Biofactories Initiative that sought to develop an industrial oil crop platform to provide renewable bio-based feedstocks for industry. It was achieved by using RNAi gene silencing to prevent the conversion of oleic acid to linoleic acid specifically in the safflower seed, leading to a build-up of oleic acid. SHO Safflower is the first GM crop to be developed using RNAi technology. 

SHO Safflower has been approved for release by GM crop regulatory authorities in Australia (OGTR) and approved for human consumption by FSANZ. 

Commercial production of the new crop has commenced in Australia under exclusive license to GO Resources Pty Ltd.  The first batches of oil have already been sold into the retail food oil market in Australia.

Get the facts …

‘Seed-specific RNAi in safflower generates a superhigh oleic oil with extended oxidative stability.’ Plant Biotechnology Journal (2018)

CSIRO licenses SHO Safflower to GO Resources (2015)

Regulatory approval for cultivation of SHO Safflower in Australia & New Zealand (OGTR, 27/06/2018)

Regulatory approval for food use of SHO Safflower oil in Australia & New Zealand (FSANZ, 13/11/2018)

SHO Safflower patent (CSIRO):

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