Monsanto says oil from its improved soybean is trans fats-free

Monsanto Company on Wednesday said that it has reached an important regulatory milestone that will advance the development of foods with reduced saturated fat and reduced or no trans fats.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a response letter to Monsanto's 'generally recognised as safe (GRAS) notification. The FDA letter supports the use of oil from `Vistive Gold' soybeans under the intended conditions of use, Monsanto said in a release.

The GRAS status enables food companies to develop and test foods containing this nutritionally improved soybean oil, which is an important step toward offering consumers the benefit from this oil in a variety of food products, such as French fries or crackers, the release said. 

"This product could offer farmers and the food industry an opportunity to help meet a growing demand for healthier foods," said Roy Fuchs, Monsanto's global technology lead for oilseeds. "Vistive Gold provides a glimpse into the next-generation of soybean products that can bring direct health benefits to consumers. We also expect farmers to benefit from the premium pricing opportunity the market is likely to offer for this oil once it's commercialised."

The company has completed US regulatory submissions to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and FDA, and has made numerous regulatory submissions to the appropriate regulatory agencies around the world for the product. Upon completion of the necessary regulatory processes, food companies will be able to purchase this new food oil and sell healthier food prepared with this oil, Monsanto said.

This second-generation product builds on Monsanto's existing Vistive soybeans by providing food companies with a more stable soybean oil for frying, cracker and snack food production and baking applications that can lower levels of saturated fat and eliminates trans fats. Research has shown that a diet low in saturated fats and trans fats promotes heart health. In addition, application studies show that products fried in the new oil maintain optimum flavor quality.

Monsanto said it is actively seeking food application partnerships with companies interested in delivering food products to consumers with this improved oil.