Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

The search for sustainable vegetable oil

Research by a Charles Sturt University (CSU) PhD graduate may lead to the development of a new, more sustainable source of vegetable oil production - using genetic engineering.

Dr Kyle ReynoldsDr Kyle Reynolds, who's research was carried out through the Australian Research Council (ARC), Industrial Transformation Centre for Functional Grains (FGC), will be awarded his PhD in a ceremony on Tuesday 12 December.

"The demand for vegetable oils has increased and a large proportion of the current supply comes from unsustainable sources such as coconut oil and palm oil," Dr Reynolds said.

"My research demonstrated that by using genetic engineering of plants, oils with a similar composition to those produced by coconut palm or oil palm can be accumulated in high levels in the leaves of a high biomass crop, such as sorghum, switchgrass, sugarcane or miscanthus.

It's hoped this research may revolutionise worldwide vegetable oil production by providing a more sustainable source."

Dr Reynolds' research was supported by a Graham Centre University Research Centre scholarship and his research was completed at the CSIRO.

He is one of 11 PhD students from the Centre to graduate in December 2017.