The soybeans were developed by plant breeders, led by Professor Walter Fehr at Iowa State University, as part of a search for soybean oils that do not require hydogenation, a process that can prolong shelf-life but also leads to trans fatty acids. Soybean oil containing low levels of linolenic acid is already available commercially. However, it generally has a linolenic acid content of 3 percent, requiring more hydrogenation to maintain shelf-life. Asoyia said its Asoyia Mid Oleic Ultra Low Lin Oil (Asoyia-MO) is the first oil with 1 percent of linolenic acid and a higher level of oleic acid than is found in conventional soybean oil, keeping the oil fresh and shelf-stable for two to three times longer. This also means it has zero trans fats per serving, meeting consumer demand for less trans fats, while maintaining a neutral taste. Numerous studies show that trans fatty acids raise serum levels of LDL-cholesterol, reduce levels of HDL-cholesterol, can promote inflammation, can cause endothelial dysfunction, and influence other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Asoyia-MO is produced from non-genetically modified soybeans. A company spokesperson said that regulations against the use of GM ingredients in other countries may require many companies to maintain separate manufacturing runs of ingredients inventories requiring higher investment. Asoyia-MO avoids these extra costs. Asoyia-MO is the new generation of Asoyia Ultra Low Lin Oil (Asoyia-ULL), which was introduced to the market in 2004, again with only 1 percent linolenic soybeans. Terri Volpe, Asoyia's technical advisor, described Asoyia-ULL as a readily available solution for tough formulations requiring a high degree of stability and zero trans fats per serving. She said: "Asoyia-MO is the next step. It goes the extra mile for stability." Asoyia-MO is in the early stages of production, available in small commercial quantities for processors interested in testing and evaluating it in their applications. Formed in 2004 by 25 Iowa farmers, Asoyia is now a farmer and employee-owned company based in Iowa City, Iowa that grows and processes 1 percent ultra low linolenic soybeans to produce trans fat-free oils.