High oleic soy will help farmers recapture lost market share, says United Soybean Board
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
The next generation of ultra-stable high oleic soybean oils have no trans fat, and are very low in saturates. But what role will they play in the race to eradicate partially hydrogenated soybean oil from the food supply? And when will they be widely available?
The answer to the first question, according to United Soybean Board director Dr Mark Winkle (speaking at an education session Tuesday), is quite a significant one, with companies that have not yet ditched PHO-based frying oil, or want something that performs better than regular commodity soybean oil, likely to be early adopters.
There will also be some firms that switched to high oleic canola from soy, but may switch back when high oleic soy is more widely available, he predicted.
The key attraction for foodservice players and snack food manufacturers is that the new oils are ultra-stable at high temperature, have a much longer fry-life, offer a better nutritional profile (low sat fat, zero trans), and things fried in them take up less of the oil, reducing calorie intakes from fried products.
However, as they are liquid oils, they will still need further processing or blending with other more solid fats to help eliminate PHOs in bakery applications where harder fats are needed, so they are not a panacea.
As for availability, the 2014 crop - developed from seeds from Monsanto (Vistive Gold) and DuPont Pioneer (Plenish) - will generate around 90m lbs of oil, which will enter the market in 2015. But by 2024, there should be around 9.3bn lbs, said Dr Winkle.
"We're predicting high oleic soybeans will be the fourth largest crop in terms of acreage by then, grown in 18 states. That's a big deal.
"US soybean farmers have lost 4m lbs of annual demand since mandatory trans fat labeling came in in 2006, but we think that this offers a huge opportunity for them to regain that lost share."
The price should come down as volumes reach a critical mass, he predicted. “Ultimately we think it will maybe command a 3-5% premium over commodity soybean oil, but it has so many advantages, and the flavor and consumer acceptance are the same."