Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (October 11, 2018) - Calyxt, Inc., a consumer-centric, food- and agriculture-focused company, announced that the company has completed the inaugural harvest of its high-fiber wheat product, the world’s first gene-edited, consumer-focused wheat product. The high-fiber wheat product is already the seventh Calyxt product that has been deemed non-regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including powdery mildew-resistant wheat, high-oleic soybeans, high-oleic / low-linoleic soybeans, improved quality alfalfa, cold storable potatoes and reduced browning potatoes.
“The completion of these field trials for our high-fiber wheat is an important milestone as we continue to advance toward the finish line in commercializing our first-ever gene-edited wheat product for consumers,” says Jim Blome, CEO of Calyxt. “Consumer demand for high-fiber products has never been higher, as fiber is essential for healthy digestion, with the potential to decrease the risk of food-related chronic diseases like coronary heart disease and diabetes. Most adults only consume about half of the recommended amount of fiber in their diet but, with this latest advancement, we’re one step closer to developing a product with up to three times more dietary fiber than standard white flour, resulting in a healthier alternative for consumers – with the same great taste that they love.”
The recommended daily value of fiber is 25g per day, whereas the average American consumes 16g of dietary fiber per day from the variety of foods in their diet. According to industry sources, the wheat market in North America was estimated at 98 million tons in 2017, with approximately 43% used for human consumption in the U.S. While traditional white flour is losing ground, premium products, including the demand for fiber, is estimated to grow at a compound annual rate of 11.6 percent globally.
The high-fiber wheat product recently transitioned from Phase I to Phase II in Calyxt’s development process and is on track for commercialization as early as 2020 / 2021. In the next year, the company is set to further confirm the product concept in field conditions and will complete food application studies. Primary applications for high-fiber wheat flour would include any food applications where hard wheat varieties are currently used, such as with all-purpose flours and bread flours. It is also a potential use for Chinese steamed bread and noodles.
Calyxt’s high-fiber wheat was developed by using the company’s proprietary gene-editing technology, TALEN®, to produce a small and precise modification in the wheat genome, which is almost six times larger than the human genome.
Calyxt, Inc. is a consumer-centric, food- and agriculture-focused company. Calyxt is pioneering a paradigm shift to deliver healthier food ingredients, such as healthier oils and high fiber wheat, for consumers and crop traits that benefit the environment and reduce pesticide applications, such as disease tolerance, for farmers. Calyxt develops non-transgenic crops leveraging processes that occur in nature by combining its leading gene-editing technology and technical expertise with its innovative commercial strategy. Calyxt is located in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, and is listed on the Nasdaq market (ticker: CLXT).