The first batch of Asoyia soybean oil was shipped this week from Iowa, serving up a trans fat free and reduced saturated fat cooking alternative to restaurants and consumers. The soybean oil is the first of its kind offering this combination of health benefits, while providing restaurant chefs and their customers the great taste of fried foods that they have grown accustomed to.
"Asoyia offers the first frying oil that addresses everyone's needs today," says Vivan Jennings, CEO of Asoyia. "It has zero trans fats, reduced saturated fat, practically no transferable taste, a long fryer life, and is not genetically modified. Plus, food cooked in Asoyia tastes great and is crispier compared to other oils."
Asoyia is being introduced to the market after years of scientific development and testing by soybean breeders, food scientists, restaurants, and consumers. Its one percent linolenic acid content-the lowest available on the market-eliminates the need for the hydrogenation process which conventional soybean oils must go through to maintain freshness and long-lasting stability for commercial cooking applications.
The Food and Drug Administration is requiring food manufacturers to list the amount of trans fats on food labels in 2006. In advance of this regulation, nutritionists, consumers, lobbying groups, and industry advocates have been increasingly calling for alternative oils that will eliminate trans fats in packaged and restaurant foods. Asoyia has no trans fats without increasing saturated fat, adversely affecting taste, or increasing cost or labor for restaurant owners.
"When we tested Asoyia in our restaurant, our customers didn't notice any difference in taste," says Jason Wheelock, manager of Hickory Park Restaurant in Ames, Iowa. "From a cooking perspective, the oil also looked better and lasted twice as long as the oil we used to use. For us and our customers, it's a great combination: tastes good, lasts longer, and is healthier all around."
Asoyia oil is produced from 1% linolenic soybeans, which are the result of more than 30 years of research by agronomists and food scientists at Iowa State University. Soybean breeder Walter Fehr, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture, and Earl Hammond, Emeritus University Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, studied linolenic acid traits in soybeans and developed the Asoyia soybean's unique ultra low composition.
Cargill has agreed to process the soybeans into oil for shipment to the marketplace. Through this processing relationship, Asoyia plans to have 6,000 acres worth of the specially bred soybeans turned into approximately three million pounds of Asoyia oil which will be delivered over the next year. Asoyia plans to produce at least 20 million pounds in the following year.