The Indiana Soybean Alliance, the United Soybean Board (USB), the soybean checkoff and U.S. soy industry coalition group QUALISOY recently brought the taste of new high-oleic soybean oil to farmers and hundreds of thousands of others attending the Indiana State Fair.

The groups sponsored a free tasting of foods fried in high-oleic soybean oil.

"High-oleic soybean oil provides benefits to both consumers and farmers," says Jim Shriver, soybean farmer from Montpelier, Ind., and chair of USB’s domestic marketing program.

"We’re highlighting the health benefits to consumers, but ultimately we want farmers to see the market potential these soybean varieties offer, and to consider growing high-oleic soybeans when they become available."

The new, high-oleic soybean oil provides an improved health profile compared with the traditional oil typically used now.

The high-oleic oil, currently undergoing testing by food companies, offers reduced saturated fats compared with other oils.

In the last decade, U.S. soybean farmers lost 15 percent of their edible-oil market share to other oils mostly due to the desire by some food manufacturers to eliminate the use of hydrogenated soybean oil, which contains trans fats.

According to QUALISOY, the introduction of high-oleic soybean varieties represents an opportunity to recapture 3.8 billion pounds of soybean oil demand annually, approximately the soybean oil from 341 million bushels of soybeans.

Seed companies Monsanto and Pioneer both developed high-oleic varieties that will be available to farmers in select soybean-growing areas, in the near future. Monsanto will market its varieties as Vistive Gold, while Pioneer markets its varieties as Plenish.

"High-oleic soybeans provide soybean farmers with an opportunity to make soybean oil even more valuable to the food industry," adds Shriver.

"A vast majority of our soybean oil ends up in the human diet, and the oil health profile of these new varieties will help meet consumer demand for healthier food products."