Commercial fats and oils are still used extensively in chemical manufacturing processes, but their fatty acid compositions are limited in variety. An extensive screening program for potential new oilseed crops has led to the discovery of many good sources of new lipid classes and fatty acids. Among them are long-chain acids (Crambe, Limnanthes, Lunaria), medium-chain acids (Cuphea, Umbelliferae, Lauraceae), hydroxy acids (Lesquerella), epoxy acids (Vernonia, Stokesia), acids with special unsaturation (conjugated; acetylenic; Δ3, Δ5, Δ6, Δ17 monoenes) and liquid wax esters (Simmondsia). Many of these plant species have received further attention in terms of germplasm collection and evaluation; breeding and agronomic studies; and processing and utilization research on oil and byproduct meal. Some have been developed sufficiently for early commercialization. Recent history has shown this last step to be the most difficult. No satisfactory mechanism has been devised as yet to simplify the process of transferring research information on a developed new crop to reach the ultimate goal of sustained, large-scale commerical production. Close cooperation between governments and private sector institutions, with some financial support, may be required for the first few years to achieve successful commercialization. © 1984 American Oil Chemists' Society.