Walter Fehr, Agronomy, (515) 294-6865
Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778
LOW-SATURATED-FAT SOYBEAN OIL HITS THE SHELVES
AMES, Iowa -- Health-conscious consumers who want to reduce their risk of heart disease can now purchase the first low-saturated-fat soybean oil that can substitute for traditional vegetable oil without changing the taste of the food.
LoSatSoy, a new product from Midwest farmers developed from research at Iowa State University, is hitting the shelves at Hy-Vee food stores in a seven-state area.
LoSatSoy has only one gram of saturated fat per serving, half the amount found in traditional soybean oil and the same amount found in canola oil.
The new oil comes from low-saturated-fat soybeans developed by Iowa State University's Walter Fehr, professor of agronomy, and Earl Hammond, professor of food science and human nutrition, using traditional plant breeding methods.
Before LoSatSoy became available, consumers interested in vegetable oil with reduced saturated fat relied on canola oil. Despite its nutritional value, some consumers complained that the foods prepared with canola did not have the same flavor and as those prepared with soybean oil, the most widely used vegetable oil in the United States.
"The good news for consumers is that LoSatSoy has the same amount of saturated fat as canola and does not alter the flavor of the food," Fehr said.
LoSatSoy received a boost from new research published by the Harvard School of Public Health in the Nov. 20 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. In a study involving 80,082 women age 34 to 59, Dr. Frank Hu and his colleagues found that the risk of heart disease was reduced by lowering the saturated fat in oil and increasing the polyunsaturated fatty acids. LoSatSoy is as low in saturated fat as canola and contains more than twice as many polyunsaturated fatty acids, Fehr said.
Hy-Vee test-marketed LoSatSoy this fall in its Cedar Rapids-area stores.
"We had excellent results with the test market of LoSatSoy in our store in September," said Matt Tippie, manager of a Hy-Vee store in Cedar Rapids. "Our initial sales were strong and are continuing to grow."
Consumer acceptance of LoSatSoy is good for Midwest farmers who grow the specialty soybeans. Most of the canola consumed in the U.S. is imported from Canada.
"We are very pleased with the positive image of soybeans in the health community," said Steve Lorimor, a southwest Iowa soybean farmer and chair of the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board. "LoSatSoy is a product with positive health benefits that Midwest farmers can profitably produce for consumers."
LoSatSoy is a trademark of the Iowa State University Research Foundation Inc.
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