RSC School Seminar - James Petrie & Surinder Singh (Nourish Ing.)

Title: Lipid Engineering in Canberra: Nourish Ingredients

Speaker: Dr. James Petrie & Dr. Surinder Singh


Abstract: Dr James Petrie and Surinder Singh have history in lipid biological engineering to build specialty oils for both food and industrial uses. Surinder will describe work done in his group at CSIRO with Nufarm to develop omega-3 canola, an Australian GM crop that has now been deregulated in several countries. DHA levels that exceed the amount typically found in bulk fish oil have now been achieved in canola. Surinder will also describe the generation of high oleic safflower and ‘leaf oil’ genetically modified crops. James will talk about a new wave of specialty food lipid engineering in Nourish Ingredients, including the work being done at RSC to build synthetic biology yeast strains.



Dr James Petrie is the CEO of Nourish Ingredients, an Australian start-up company focused on building specialty food lipid ingredient via synthetic biology engineering of oleaginous yeast strains. Dr Petrie has experience in crop lipid engineering to produce long-chain omega-3 oils as well as ‘leaf oil’ crops in which leaf biomass is turned into oil storage tissue. Nourish Ingredients is extending this field into the animal-like fats, oils and other lipids required to build plant-based and cultured protein food taste like the real thing.

Dr Surinder Singh has pioneered the successful genetic modification of fatty acid composition in the seeds of canola so that they produce large amounts of the long-chain omega-3 oils that are essential for human health, and which, to date, have been available predominantly from unsustainable marine sources. He has also modified safflower oil for industrial applications and the fatty acid metabolism in the leaves of certain crops to produce large amounts of valuable oils that are useful for food and industrial applications.