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Arcadia Biosciences teams up with Ardent Mills to develop and bring new wheat varieties to market

The first leg of the collaboration between the two companies will focus on extending the shelf life and improving the flavor of whole-wheat products
wheat in a field
Using Arcadia's patented trait technology, the storage life of whole wheat flour can be extended by slowing enzymatic processes

Agricultural food ingredient company Arcadia Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:RKDA) announced Tuesday that it will partner with Ardent Mills LLC, a flour-milling company, to develop and commercialize new wheat varieties.

The first leg of the collaboration between the two companies will focus on extending the shelf life and improving the flavor of whole-wheat products.

Using patented Arcadia trait technology, the storage life of whole wheat flour can be extended by slowing the enzymatic processes that reduce shelf life. Because milled flour from wheat carrying Arcadia’s trait technology oxidizes more slowly, it cuts down on the bitterness associated with most whole wheat products. As a result, Arcadia’s technology will help to improve the taste of Ardent’s whole wheat products and also help reduce waste.

READ: Arcadia Biosciences’ joint venture Verdeca wins approval from Argentina for drought-resistant, herbicide-tolerant soybean

“As the leading flour supplier and grain innovator in North America, Ardent Mills is the ideal partner to bring this technology to the market,” said Raj Ketkar, Arcadia’s president and CEO in a statement.

“Wheat is an important source of fiber, protein, nutrients and minerals for customers throughout the world, and these creative approaches to improving the functional properties of wheat can have a significant impact on the future of whole grain consumption,” Ketkar added.

Ardent Mills CEO Dan Dye, is similarly bullish on the tie-up. “We see this trait as a big and important step forward that will benefit bakers, food manufacturers, the food service industry and ultimately consumers,” Dye said.

The Extended Shelf Life wheat trait, which is a non-genetically modified organism (non-GMO), was developed using Arcadia’s extensive library of wheat lines which vary by genetic composition and gene function.

Because it is a non-GMO trait, it holds considerable potential to be applied across conventional and organic farming practices.

Arcadia scientists create thousands of wheat plants each with unique genetics. From this library, Arcadia scientists select examples demonstrating desired traits like extended shelf-life or other characteristics. The genome is mapped, the target genes are identified, and the trait is isolated.  

Based in Davis, California, Arcadia develops high-value food ingredients and nutritional oils that aim to meet demand for healthier diets. The company’s agricultural traits are being developed to enable farmers to be more productive and minimize the impact of agriculture on the environment.

Arcadia shares we up 7.5% $4.62 in trading right after the bell Tuesday.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at [email protected]

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