Outlook - Future Perspectives
The perspectives of high oleic sunflower oils in food and non food applications are promising: a reasonable cost-performance relationship and an improving HOSO availability will drive further industrial utilisation. Substitution of "lower oleic" sources, mainly of tallow, will occur, when high performance is demanded: disadvantageous properties like TFA content, bad smell, yellow colour, lower stability could be avoided when using high oleic oils.
Multi-step syntheses in chemistry need pure starting materials, a big drawback of oleochemicals compared to petrochemicals. For example, a 3 step syntheses, where every step is done with 70 percent yield, ends up with a total yield of only 34 % of desired endproduct - not economically feasible in most cases. If that is done on a 90 % level the total yield is 73 % - much better. With high oleic oils exceeding the 90 % level of oleic acid, a new innovative oleochemistry can be developed, using the doublebond functionality as reactive center in multi-step syntheses to "high-end" products, like engineering plastics from oleic acid (via ozonolyses).
The overall potential is shown in the following table:
These estimations are first results of a market study, that the author actually is carrying out. The time for realiziation is dependent from many factors:
a stable growing demand from key markets (deep fat frying, food oils, lubricants, cosmetics / surfactants) to increase oil supply (without contracted cultivation)
a reasonable development of prices: if prices are sinking too fast, agriculture will loose interest because of QM necessity (has to be paid)
regulations and framework: development of markets for non food agriproducts, sustainability, environmental protection
Industries willingness to invest in innovative product development