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Monsanto reveals Vistive soybeansThe US multinational Monsanto unveiled a new soybean variety, the Vistive Soybean, which has a low linolenic acid content. It is a GM soybean because it is also Roundup Ready. This Vistive soybean will reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids (trans fats) in processed soybean oil, while maintaining performance parity with leading soybean varieties.
According to Kerry Preete, Vice President of U.S. Crop Production, said that Monsanto will give the opportunity to farmers to plant these soybeans for the 2005 crop season. This soybean carries the Vistive brand, Monsanto's new line of products offering direct consumer benefits. The farmers will have to producers the soybeans under contract with participating soybean processors, which will produce the soybean oil and market that soybean oil to food companies.
Scientists of Monsanto have been working more than 10 years to develop the VISTIVE soybeans. The Vistive soybeans will have same yields as other leading soybean varieties.
The Chairman of the American Soybean Association (ASA), Ron Heck, commented: "This is another premium-growing opportunity that ASA and ISA are pleased to make available to our members and those growers who become members as part of this program."
Low linolenic content soybeansThe Vistive soybeans contain less than 3% linolenic acid, compared to 8% for traditional soybeans. This resulting in a more stable soybean oil because linolenic acid tends to oxidize quickly. This will make soybean oil with a better flavor profile, and less need for hydrogenation. Soybeans with less linolenic acid require less or no partial hydrogenation. Therefore the production of undesirable trans fats in processed soybean oil can be reduced or eliminated. Trans fats are produced during the hydrogenation process, which is used to increase shelf life and flavor stability in fried foods, baked goods, snack products and other processed foods. However, these trans fats are linked to heart disease, because they lower good cholesterol while raising bad cholesterol. The FDA requires that food labeling will include a trans fat content as from January 1, 2006. This will create an incentive for food manufacturers to switch over to fats with low levels of trans fats.