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Dupont, Bunge produce new soybean oil

Responding to a future disclosure requirement by the Food and Drug Administration, two of the largest food science companies have joined to produce a soybean oil that carries substantially less fatty acid content.

Bunge Limited, one of the world’s leading oilseed processing companies, and science conglomerate Dupont have announced the product will be marketed as Nutrium Low Lin Soybean Oil. The soybean variety, the companies say, has a low linolenic acid profile of less than 3 percent — a quality that will enable food service providers and food processors to produce healthier frying oil for consumers.

Nutrium Low Lin derives from variety 93M20, developed in 2003 by DuPont subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. It will be made available starting this fall to Midwest farmers in selected regions.

“Nutrium Low Lin will help food companies reduce or eliminate trans fats from their products,” said Carl Hausmann, president and CEO of Bunge America, the North America operating arm of Bunge Limited. “With the alliance, Bunge and DuPont can insure a high-quality product, reliable supply and efficient delivery from the plant breeder to the farmer to the food company.”

“We’ve been developing soybeans with improved oil since 1991, and that’s why we can deliver this improvement in varieties with the complete genetic package that farmers today demand,” said John Soper, DuPont soybean research director.

In 2003, the food industry used more than 5 billion pounds of frying oil. A search for an alternative kind of oil has been under way for some time in anticipation of the FDA’s requirement that the trans fats on food nutrients become included on labels, beginning in 2006.

The new oil variety has, according to the producers, passed performance tests in food product applications, with additional development and testing expected in the fall.

Bunge expects to produce about 20 million pounds from the 2005 crop and have full-scale commercial availability by 2009.

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