The long-awaited high-oleic soybean trait being developed by the Bunge DuPont Biotech Alliance is on-track for limited introduction in 2009 pending regulatory approvals.
This trait has not only been eagerly anticipated by the food industry, which is receiving increasing demand from consumers for trans fat alternatives, but also by the soybean industry through its Qualisoy initiative.
Qualisoy recognizes what the introduction of this new trait represents to the soybean industry and will work to encourage the adoption of this trait among farmers. To exhibit its support for the continued adoption of trait-enhanced soybeans, Qualisoy also recently engaged the American Soybean Association to insert a provision enacted with the Farm Bill called the Quality Incentive Program. This program will provide additional incentives to farmers to help offset the costs of growing certain oilseeds that provide a health and functionality benefit such as high-oleic soybeans.
"The food industry continues to search for trans-free oils at a lower cost with improved stability," said Dennis Byron, Pioneer vice president of crop development and Qualisoy vice chairman. "High-oleic soybean oil will offer far greater stability and versatility in a wider variety of applications."
Based on Pioneer's 2008 harvest results, the high-oleic soybeans contain at least 80 percent oleic acid, significantly increasing the stability of the oil when used in frying and food processing. In addition to delivering at least 80 percent oleic acid, the high-oleic soybean oil trait has consistently demonstrated a linolenic acid content of less than 3 percent, and over 20 percent less saturated fatty acid than commodity soybean oil.
"The introduction of high-oleic and high-oleic/high stearic soybeans will yield oils that expand the already impressive variety of applications for soybean oils," said Robert L. Collette, president of the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils and Qualisoy board member. "Oils from the high-oleic soybeans will provide improved stability in frying applications that use liquid oils. The high oleic/high-stearic oils will be stable oils with added functionality for the preparation of many foods where a certain amount of solids are needed."
While the high-oleic soybean trait will bring numerous benefits to the food industry, farmers will also reap additional rewards by fetching a premium when they market high-oleic soybeans. This added financial reward contributes to the long-term strength of the soybean industry and enables success for Pioneer in producing an output trait product with a direct consumer benefit. These heart-healthy soybean traits are expected to yield on par with the current popular varieties and be available with SCN resistance as well as resistance or tolerance to other key soybean diseases.
Qualisoy is a collaborative effort among the soybean industry to help market the development and availability of trait-enhanced soybeans and soybean oil, reduce environmental impacts of livestock production through improved soybean meal and improve the global competitiveness of the U.S. soybean industry. A diverse 22-member Qualisoy board of directors sets research priorities, evaluates existing and emerging technologies, and sets quality standards for traits, products and