Putting Tech to Work

Putting Tech to Work

By Christine Tew

In the 1990s, research into the hydrogenation process that helped soybean oil give foods desirable taste and texture and allowed the oil to be reused many times in commercial fryers found undesirable results on cholesterol. Trans fats, or partially-hydrogenated fatty acids, produced through the process, were linked to human health concerns like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes at the time.

Awareness of the negative health impacts of trans fats cost soybean oil its place in popular food items.

Today, that’s changing thanks to high oleic soy. High oleic technology is an advancement in the soybean market that gives soybean oil greater potential for high temperature and prolonged uses like baking, frying and sautéing in both commercial and home kitchens. Soybean oil with high oleic acid content can be used at high temperatures without hydrogenation or producing trans fats.

High oleic soybean oil is praised for giving increased stability at high temperatures, extended shelflife, and a neutral flavor. Qualisoy, a partnership across the soybean industry, now recognizes U.S.-grown high oleic soybean shortening as the gold standard for baking – outperforming palm and partially hydrogenated oil. High oleic soybean oil also contains less saturated fat than other commonly used oils.

And at fish frys across Missouri, higholeic soybean oil is getting rave reviewson everything from fillets and fries tohush puppies.

The high oleic soybean oil has applications beyond food as well – adding value to soybean oil already being used in industrial settings and products. Research made possible through the soybean checkoff has sown that high oleic soybean oil-based motor oils have better viscosity and lower volatility than their synthetic counterparts, resulting in better performance in high temperatures. Lubricants made with high oleicsoybean oil also have benefits, offeringnatural detergency, leaving engines cleaner and reducing deposits on metal surfaces.

What is SOYLEIC™?

SOYLEIC™ is the branding associated with the non-GMO high oleic trait technology developed in Missouri through research made possible by soybean farmers, the soybeans containing that technology, and the products made from those soybeans, including soy oil and meal. The beans’oil contains as much as 80-85 percent oleic acid, significantly exceeding the industry’s 70 percent standard.

Established in 2018, the SOYLEIC™ logo also appears on packages of commercial soybean seed containing the trait.

History of SOYLEIC™ High Oleic Trait Technology

Getting to the point of having SOYLEIC™ logoed on seed bags didn’t come quickly or easily. The trait technology is many years in the making.

In the late 2000s, Grover Shannon and the soybean breeding team at the University of Missouri’s Fisher Delta Research Center discovered a non-GMO High Oleic trait from a traditional cross in the field.

From that point, called the ‘novel cross’, Shannon partnered with Kristin Bilyeu, a USDA molecular geneticist housed on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, to evaluate the importance of a non-GMO HO trait. The work of those scientists resulted in several patents and pending patent applications, including U.S. Pat. Nos. 9,035,129 and 9,198,365.

Analysis of the soybean meal from varieties with the SOYLEIC™ trait technology shows no offset to the benefits of higher oleic acid content in the soybean oil. Soybean oil with higher oleic acid levels offers greater stability for frying, baking and other high temperature food applications, and in industrial uses, along with a longer shelf life than partially hydrogenated oil.

Those patents are owned by USDA-Agricultural Research Service and Curators of the University of Missouri. They exclusively licensed the patents to the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC). With support from soybean farmers through their checkoff program, work with the trait has expanded to maturity groups I to VII through partnerships with the University of Arkansas, University of Georgia, University of Illinois, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Tennessee and others.

Where to find the SOYLEIC™ High Oleic Trait Technology

Bringing the SOYLEIC™ high oleic trait technology to the marketplace
is a priority for all involved – from advancing the genetics developed in the soybean breeding program through commercialization, to integrating SOYLEIC™ soybean oil into consumer products, improving every day items ranging from salad dressings to biodiesel.

Today, the SOYLEIC™ high oleic trait technology is growing through closed-loop systems.

In closed-loop systems, each partner is responsible for every step in production, from producing seed to sales, marketing, crush of the harvested crop, and use ofthe SOYLEIC™ soybean oil. These often-smaller, integrated systems provide revolutionary identity preservation forthe SOYLEIC™ high oleic trait technology at every stage, from the field to theconsumer. The systems are distributed regionally across soybean-growing states, ensuring maximum success for growers using the tailored genetics and maturity groupings.

The SOYLEIC™ trait technology is available for commercialization through partnership with the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, and SOYLEIC™ soybeans are growing across the U.S.thanks to strong partnerships and support from soybean farmers.

To learn more about SOYLEIC™ and high oleic soybeans and soybean oil, visit mosoy.org/soyleic.

Find the rest of the issue here.