As food company and processor demand for better oils for healthier foods continues to grow, Monsanto next season will offer soybean farmers an expanded portfolio of high-performing Vistive™ low-linolenic soybeans, which can reduce or eliminate trans fats in processed soybean oil.
Introduced on just 500,000 acres in 2005, Vistive low-lin beans were planted on approximately 1.5 million acres in 2007. More than 100 food companies, including KFC and Kellogg's, are now using Vistive low-lin oil in their products. In addition, numerous cities, counties and states have either enacted or are considering bans on trans fats in school cafeterias and restaurants.
“Vistive low-linolenic soybeans provide growers with a premium market opportunity along with strong agronomic performance in the field,” says Joe Bothe, Soybean Quality Traits Manager for Monsanto. “They also help strengthen the competitive position of the U.S. soybean industry by promoting the use of soybeans as the source for trans-fat-free oils over alternative sources.”
Bothe said Vistive will be offered in 31 different seed brands for 2008, three more than in 2007, enabling growers to choose from a broad selection of even better-performing products – 179 different Vistive varieties in all. In addition, Vistive will have greater geographic penetration and therefore be available to more farmers around the 20 processor locations that crush the soybeans and market Vistive oil to food companies.
Vistive low-linolenic soybeans typically contain less than 3 percent linolenic acid as an oil component compared with 8 percent for conventional soybeans. This low-linolenic alternative enables food processors to use Vistive oil to reduce or eliminate the need for hydrogenation, which creates trans fats in processed soybean oil.
"Food oils represent a high-value product, so low-linolenic soybeans fall right in line with the American soybean Association (ASA) mission to bring additional value to the industry and profits to soybean growers," says John Hoffman, first vice president of the ASA. "As food manufacturers move away from using partially hydrogenated soybean oil, the American Soybean Association is firmly committed to value-added low-linolenic soybean varieties."
Vistive soybeans were grown this season throughout Iowa and in parts of Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, Delaware and Maryland. Participating processors for 2008 will include Cargill, AGP, Bunge, CHS, Inc., Mercer Landmark, Owensboro Grain Co., Perdue Incorporated and Zeeland Farms.
For 2008, Vistive growers can earn buyers' call premiums starting at 60 cents per bushel, which is similar to the 2007 premium range.
For additional information, growers can visit www.vistive.com.