Recently, in the wake of improved oil processing technologies, genetic engineering and research, new soybean varieties with enhanced traits and new soybean oils have been developed. Here is a rundown of what's available and what may be coming in the future:
Low-linolenic soybean oil: The first trait innovation to become commercially available. Food companies have gotten away from partially hydrogenated oils and transitioned to low-linolenic soybean oil for frying and processed food. This is made possible by decreasing linolenic acid, which supports oxidative stability and makes the flavor more stable.
High-oleic/reduced saturate soybean oil: This oil, currently available to foodservice companies for testing (visit qualisoy.com if you would like to test it), can be used for high heat processing, offers 90+ hours of fry time, has no trans fats, 20 percent less saturated fat and resists odors. Most varieties of high-oleic also have reduced linolenic acid. Applications include spray oil for crackers, a blending component for margarines and shortenings, in heavy duty frying and in bakery applications. Smoke point is 465°
Other new oils that may be coming down the pike include High-Oleic/Low-Saturate Soybean Oil, Increased Omega-3 Stearidonic Acid, and Increased Omega-3: EPA and DHA.
For more information about trait-enhanced soybean oil or to find a supplier, go to http://plenish.com http://qualisoy.com and the United Soybean Board's soyconnection.com. You can read further on biotechnology (a report called “The Benefits of Biotechnology: Scientific Assessments of Agricultural Biotechnology's Role in a Safer, Healthier World”) and more, also at soyconnection.com. For more soy information, go to http://thesoyfoodscouncil.com. For more on the nutritional side of oils in general, visit http://eatright.org and fitfrying.com