ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 28, 2013- The key to increasing market demand for soy oil is the commercialization of high oleic soybean oil, according to United Soybean Board Vice Chair Jim Call.
The Soy Checkoff used the 2013 Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida, to promote a market-development program for a product the board says will build more than eight billion pounds of demand for U.S. soy in the food and industrial sectors.
“High oleic soy oil’s increased functionality and stability gives it the potential to take back lost edible-oil market share and expand the use of soy oil in industrial applications,” Call said. The soy industry has lost four billion pounds of soy oil demand each year since 2008, he noted.
USB is partnering with DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto to expand commercialization and varieties of high oleic soybean oil. The board is investing at a rate of $4 million per year with each company for five years, or a $20 million investment with each organization. The goal is to have high oleic soybeans available in maturity groups that cover up to 80 percent of U.S. soybean acres by 2020.
USB leaders said varieties of high oleic soybean oil are more competitive with canola oil, due to desirable characteristics like long shelf-life, low saturated fat content and high heat stability.
Oilseeds with an increased proportion of oleic acid versus linolenic and linoleic acids are in increasing demand. According to USB, the high oleic soybean oil delivers higher oxidative stability, similar to partially hydrogenated oils, but with zero grams of trans fat per serving.
USB began funding high oleic soybean oil research in 1994, but the board announced plans to partner with Pioneer and Monsanto last year in an effort to accelerate the adoption of the soybean varieties in the marketplace.
John Motter, a high oleic soybean farmer from Jenera, Ohio, said his farm plans to grow 100 percent high oleic soy this year. However, he acknowledged that a particular challenge is finding grain elevators that are able to take the high oleic trait, since it is not yet approved by overseas regulators.
“The biggest challenge is that the trait doesn’t have global approval,” Motter said. “It makes it difficult for some elevators to handle.”
Call said the checkoff is currently working to gain approval in China and the European Union.
He also described a marketing effort will make the oil available to U.S. food manufacturers, food service companies and chefs for performance tests. The checkoff’s marketing plan will also target industry product manufacturers to demonstrate high oleic performance for industrial uses.
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