High Oleic Soybean Oil for Heart Healthy Spreads and Dressings

Thanks to strong demand for foods with health benefits, supermarkets are stocking new condiments based on innovations in soybean oil, which is commonly known as vegetable oil. In 2018, the FDA approved qualified “heart healthy” labeling for oils rich in oleic acid such as high oleic soybean (HOSoy) oil, a sustainable, U.S.-grown, high stability oil. Food processing companies and formulators have an opportunity to tap into this current consumer trend by introducing HOSoy oil into spreads, mayonnaises, salad dressings, and other high-oil content applications.

High oleic oils contain elevated levels of monounsaturated fats. These oils also have low levels of polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats and are free of trans fats. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting dietary saturated fats and eliminating trans fats. According to AHA, replacing them with monounsaturated fats has been shown to potentially lower the risk of coronary disease.

High oleic soybean oils that are currently on the market contain around 75% oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat with high stability and strong oxidative resistance. These oils have similar fatty acid profiles to olive oil in terms of monounsaturated fats but are lower in saturated fats. For applications like salad dressing that rely heavily on conventional oils, reformulating with high oleic soybean oil can potentially triple a product’s monounsaturated fat content while significantly reducing levels of undesirable saturated fats.

Such a reformulation may be attractive to the health-conscious consumer. According to a 2019 survey done by the United Soybean Board, many U.S. shoppers are oil-conscious when it comes to shopping for prepackaged foods and are drawn to health benefits from these products.

Furthermore, most respondents agreed that they would be more likely to purchase certain foods after reading about a heart health benefit on the package. This includes a spectrum of applications, from oil-based condiments like salad dressing (74%) and mayonnaise (63%) to baked goods like bread (70%) and crackers (65%) to snacks like popcorn (63%). By using high oleic soybean oil to replace trans fat-heavy partially hydrogenated oils and saturated fat-rich oils, like coconut and palm oil, food brands can attract these consumers with beneficial, on-package health claims.

From sauces and dressings to creamy spreads, high oleic soybean oil is a true drop-in solution for replacing saturated fats. And, because of investments by U.S. soybean farmers in seed technology and acreage, supply is ramping up. High oleic soybean oil will rapidly become more available in years to come and is poised to become the high stability oil of choice in North America.

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