While lowering trans fats has become a hot topic among food processors, formulation challenges ranging from texture and taste qualities to stability and shelflife make many food scientists skeptical of finding a low- to no-trans fat oil alternative that may be practical for their applications.

Asoyia recently announced the availability of Asoyia Mid Oleic ULTRA Low Lin Oil (Asoyia-MO), the first soybean oil to provide an optimal level of stability, neutral taste and heart-healthy benefits desired by many food scientists. Asoyia-MO is the next generation of Asoyia ULTRA Low Lin Soybean Oil (Asoyia-ULL), introduced to the market in 2004.

Terri Volpe, technical advisor for Asoyia, said that while Asoyia-ULL is a solution for tough formulations requiring a high degree of stability and zero trans fats per serving, Asoyia-MO takes it all to the next level. “It goes the extra mile for stability,” she explained.

Mid-oleic refers to the oil’s oleic acid content. The higher the level of the monounsaturated fat relative to total unsaturates, the better the oxidative stability and shelflife of the oil. Asoyia-MO contains 53% oleic acid per serving, which is the highest level of oleic content in commercially available, modified linolenic soybean oils to date.

“ULTRA Low Lin” refers to the oil’s linolenic content. Linolenic acid is polyunsaturated fatty acid which, at higher levels, causes oil to become rancid quickly. The “low-lin” soy oils on the market contain at least 3% linolenic acid. Asoyia is currently providing an ultra low-lin oil made from soybeans with 1% linolenic acid.

Kathleen Warner, lead scientist for edible oil research with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has conducted chemical and sensory tests on both Asoyia-ULL and Asoyia-MO. Her research is based on the food industry’s need for alternatives to trans fat-containing hydrogenated oils. Warner tested a variety of oils against Asoyia products, including low-lin canola, mid-oleic and high-oleic sunflower and mid-oleic corn oils. Warner said test results showed Asoyia-MO is “significantly better” than the others, when it comes to shelflife and taste.

Why should food processors and scientists be interested in testing Asoyia-MO? First and foremost, Asoyia-MO is a soybean oil highly preferred for its neutral taste. While there are other mid-oleic, low-lin oils available, they may have distinct flavors that can be imparted to the food.

Asoyia-MO is ideal for creating texture in products; it has performed very well in cookies, crackers and muffins and as a spray oil coating for crackers and extruded snacks.

 “It’s very stable and offers enhanced shelflife--above and beyond even our regular ultra low-lin oil,” Volpe said. “It’s good for products with a higher moisture content or where there are ingredients that may cause the oil to have a tendency to oxidize. Using mid-oleic will give them cleaner flavors for longer periods of time.”

Asoyia-MO is also processed from non-genetically modified (non-GMO) soybeans, making it desirable for companies distributing products overseas.

Asoyia-MO is in the early stages of production and is currently offered in small quantities for processors interested in testing it in their applications. Processors are welcome to request information and samples for testing by calling the company or visiting its website.

For more information:
Asoyia * Iowa City, Iowa
Beth Fulmer-Boyer * 319-339-4OIL (319-339-4645)
Samples: 877-ASOYIA1 (877-276-9421)