Vegetable oils have historically been a valued commodity for food use and to a lesser extent for non-edible applications such as detergents and lubricants. The increasing reliance on biodiesel as a transportation fuel has contributed to rising demand and higher prices for vegetable oils. Biotechnology offers a number of solutions to meet the growing need for affordable vegetable oils and vegetable oils with improved fatty acid compositions for food and industrial uses. New insights into oilseed metabolism and its transcriptional control are enabling biotechnological enhancement of oil content and quality. Alternative crop platforms and emerging technologies for metabolic engineering also hold promise for meeting global demand for vegetable oils and for enhancing nutritional, industrial, and biofuel properties of vegetable oils.
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