Iowa State researchers are testing a new type of soybean oil they hope will be healthier and taste as good as the oil now being used. Researcher Walt Fehr says they’re trying to overcome a process that makes the soyoil less healthy.
Fehr says all vegetable oils don’t contain transfatty acids, but the hydrogenation processed used to preserve the oils creates the transfatty acids.
Fehr says they’ve been making steady progress.
He says the first oil they released had a lower content of a fatty acid called “linolenic acid,” and they hope the latest oil has a better shelf life, and they’re interested in seeing how the new oil works for the food companies.
Fehr says they had to breed some special soybeans to develop this new oil. Fehr says they got some special soybeans from Japan and were able to cross-breed the soybeans at a lab in Puerto Rico to transfer the genes to Iowa soybeans.
Fehr says they’re now in the process of seeing how the new soy oil holds up in all types of uses. He says they’ll use a series of instrument tests, frying and taste tests by various sources to determine if they should continue breeding the new soybeans on a commercial scale.
Fehr says soy oil is used in all types of products including: cereal and energy bars, powdered cheese sauces and non-dairy creamers. Fehr says developing an oil that’s low in trans fats is particularily important now that the F-D-A requires the amount of trans fats to be displayed on food nutrition facts labels.