Tuesday, November 3, 2009: 3:30 PM
Convention Center, Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom BC,Third Floor
Beginning with a rough population of “wild” corn and 18 years later ending up with actual products was a long and arduous journey. Science got us the raw materials and products, but the journey was more marketing, publicity, and mostly luck. The first stage involved developing lines with altered fatty acid profiles that could lead to healthier oil and spreadable products sans hydrogenation, protecting the lines through a patent, and validating their value through scientific studies. The second stage involved publicity through presentations at scientific meetings and field days where interest from food companies was evident. In order to get the oil to food companies, seed /grain processing company participation was essential. However, trying to develop this participation resulted in a lot of dead ends and time lost. Now we are at the third stage of active co-development of products because we had the persistence and luck to find a company with the goals and entrepreneurial spirit to overcome the challenges of bringing an unproven product to market.