Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The development of new agricultural crops provides a future for farm diversity and a wealth of novel compounds for the chemist and industry. Each new crop has a unique package of natural compounds found not only in the seed oil but throughout the entire plant. The industrial chemist must seek out these new constituents and exploit the unusual chemistry that these compounds can offer. The plant kingdom is estimated to offer over 300,000 species available to man (Kleiman and Princen, 1990) of which a few hundred are in organized agriculture. In 1957 the USDA initiated a program to collect over 8000 different plant species, many of which were analyzed for potential sources of starch, protein, oil, fiber, medicinal components as well as any other unusual materials. As a result of this effort, over 100 new oils were discovered. Of these new oilseed plants, three have progressed to the point of commercial production, crambe, jojoba, and meadowfoam. In addition, lesquerella is almost sufficiently developed to begin production. The unique chemical structures of these four seed oils and how they impact the chemistry of the oil will be the basis of this chapter.