Soy Industry to Launch Health Initiative

At the annual Soy Symposium in Washington D.C. last fall, farmers and industry leaders announced the launch of Qualisoy, an agricultural initiative focused on improving the quality and competitiveness of U.S. soybean varieties.

A collaborative effort within the soybean industry, the initiative's goals include developing healthier soybeans and soy oil, reducing environmental impacts of livestock production with improved soybean meal and improving the overall competitiveness of the U.S. soybean industry. The 22-member board of directors for the initiative includes farmers, researchers and representatives from multinational seed and chemical companies, regional agricultural companies, processors, food companies and food and feed industry associations.

Recently, several technology providers have announced the commercialization of soybean varieties with low-linolenic acid. These products will bring healthier soybean oils to the market place because they will be inherently more stable without the need for hydrogenation, thus reducing or eliminating trans fatty acids in the resulting processed soybean oil. The products include Vistive from Monsanto, a 1 percent low-linolenic variety from Iowa State University and Nutrium Low Lin from Pioneer, variety 93M20, developed in partnership by Bunge and DuPont.

The food industry is eagerly anticipating commercial quantities of the new products as they come to market during the next few years. "I think the food industry will embrace these soy-based products as part of the solution to the trans fat problem," said Robert M. Reeves, president of the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils. "These new products will provide quality fats and oils that will help meet the ever-changing needs of the U.S. food industry.".

The implications of these new products are far reaching, since soybean oil accounts for 80 percent of the oil consumed in the United States, by far the most used oil in U.S. food production. For more information contact the Institute of Food Technologists at www.ift.org.

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