October 28, 2003



Monsanto Work Towards Improved Soybeans For Fat-Free Soyoil

Monsanto Company announced yesterday it is planning to work on producing soybeans that will be lower in artery clogging saturated and trans- fats in response to new federal food labeling rules.


The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) last summer established guidelines requiring food manufacturers to disclose the amount of trans-fats on food labels by 2006. Trans - and saturated fats have been linked to cardiovascular disease. Trans-fats are created in the hydrogenation process and have been linked to increased levels of total blood cholesterol and "bad" LDL cholesterol in consumers.


Specifically, Monsanto is using conventional breeding techniques to produce a soybean low in linolenic acid, which would reduce the need for hydrogenation, and a soybean high in oleic acid. The second would produce oils high in levels of healthier monounsaturated fat.


Monsanto added that once the product is commercially available, it intends to offer these traits in conjunction with its Roundup Ready technology.


The company also will use biotechnology to develop a soybean that would produce trans- and saturated fat-free soy oil. This would be the first natural oil that could make the claim of being saturated fat-free, they say.


The goals are consistent with the United Soybean Board's Better Bean Initiative.

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