Low linolenic soybeans and beyond



Low linolenic soybean oil is the first in a series of modified oilseed products to be introduced to meet food company and consumer needs. Consumer packaged goods and foodservice companies are currently using this oil to successfully replace partially hydrogenated soybean oil, resulting in the reduction of trans fatty acids from the food supply. In addition to meeting consumer demand for healthier foods, many food processors have chosen low linolenic soybean oil based on taste, performance and cost benefits. Seed companies continue to utilize traditional breeding, marker assisted breeding and biotechnology approaches to modify oilseeds that produce oils with health and nutrition benefits. Additional modified oilseeds are at various stages of development. Soybeans with increased levels of stearic acid are being developed as an alternative to partially hydrogenated fats and high saturate fats required to provide solids and structure to food. High stability fry oils with increased levels of oleic acid, reduced levels of linolenic acid as well as a version with lower saturated fat are being developed. Soybeans are also being modified to offer more sustainable sources of omega-3s including stearidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid which will result in more efficacious sources of omega-3s compared to alpha-linolenic acid-containing vegetable oil and improved functionality/stability compared to fish and algal oils.