Walter Fehr, Agronomy, (515) 294-6865
Earl Hammond, Food Science & Human Nutrition, (515) 294-5799
Ruth Mitchell, Hy-Vee, (515) 267-2893
Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778
ISU, PIONEER, HY-VEE COLLABORATION BRINGS NEW PRODUCT TO MARKET
AMES, Iowa -- Three of the state's best-known names in the fields of research, development and marketing have teamed to bring a revolutionary product to Iowa consumers.
LoSatSoy, the first low-saturated-fat soybean oil, is the result of a collaborative effort by Iowa State University, Pioneer Hi- Bred International, Inc. and Hy-Vee, Inc. All three organizations have heralded it as a breakthrough in the area of technology transfer -- the process of converting university research findings into economically viable products for the consumer market.
The technology for producing LoSatSoy was developed by ISU's Walter Fehr, professor of agronomy, and Earl Hammond, professor of food science and human nutrition, using traditional plant breeding methods. For their work, the two researchers won a prestigious R&D 100 Award from Research and Development Magazine, recognizing the oil as one of the top 100 product innovations of the year in 1991.
Pioneer scientists then developed the commercial applications for LoSatSoy, which has been bottled and will be marketed under the Hy-Vee label.
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. At the same time, it retains the flavor and golden color consumers prefer in the oils they use for baking, cooking, frying and salads.
LoSatSoy is expected to be a boon to Iowa's farmers and the soybean industry as well. Nearly all canola oil sold in the United States is produced in Canada, while LoSatSoy is a domestic product grown in the Midwest by American farmers.
Iowa State University President Martin C. Jischke called LoSatSoy an Iowa technology transfer success story.
"It's a wonderful example of taking university research and transferring it to those who will benefit from the new technology," Jischke said. "Clearly this product will benefit the Iowa economy."
The commercial development of LoSatSoy was made possible through the low-saturated-fat technology that is a part of Pioneer brand 92B72 soybean seed. Nick Frey, director of oilseed and industrial products for the Nutrition and Industry Markets Group of Pioneer, says this new product could have a dramatic effect on the American diet.
"Given U.S. consumers use 12 billion pounds of soybean oil per year, a 50 percent reduction in saturated fat translates to an 800-ton pound reduction," Frey said. "Therefore, this technology could remove over three pounds of saturated fat from the diet of every man, woman and child in the U.S. without any change in eating habit."
Ron Pearson, chairman, president and CEO of Hy-Vee, said the company is pleased to complete the technology transfer chain by bringing LoSatSoy to consumers throughout the Midwest.
"'Hy-Vee has long supported research and development efforts that result in better products for our customers," Pearson said. "We see the marketing of LoSatSoy as a win-win situation for everyone -- the state's educational system, the agribusiness and food industries, and of course, the millions of consumers who will have the chance to buy this product."
LoSatSoy is currently being test-marketed by Hy-Vee in the Cedar Rapids area. As production capacity increases later this year, the oil will be introduced in other Hy-Vee stores throughout the state and the upper Midwest.
Other Iowa companies are joining in the support for LoSatSoy. Martin Bros. Distributing, Cedar Falls, and Hawkeye Food Systems, Iowa City, will be providing LoSatSoy for institutional customers such as hospitals, restaurants and educational institutions. Mrs. Clark's Foods, Ankeny, is using the low-saturated-fat oil in salad dressings and mayonnaise.
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