This story was first featured in the November-December 2018 issue of Soybean Business. Click here to read the online version of the magazine.
High oleic soybean oil earned some new fans during summer 2018 after the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) donated about 30 jugs of the cooking oil to a pair of vendors at Farmfest.
The Council handed out vouchers to any Farmfest attendees who visited Minnesota Soybean’s booth and talked about the soybean checkoff with farmer leaders. One of the vendors, Blue Loon Concessions, cooked corn dogs and cheese curds in high oleic oil at his station adjacent to Minnesota Soybean’s booth.
The reviews from the two vendors who used the oil were unanimous: high oleic soybean oil really cooks.
“We were very pleased,” says Marc Anderson of Blue Loon Concessions. “We really noticed it in our corn dogs. They came up with a little extra crunch.”
Jerry Rankin, owner of Jerry Rankin Mini Donuts, is a 15-year Farmfest veteran. He noticed high oleic was far easier to clean than the cooking oil he normally uses.
“The high oleic keeps our equipment sparkly clean. You literally wipe it down and it’s done,” he says. “It’s really easy.”
Both Anderson and Rankin reported an improved fryer life while using high oleic soybean oil.
“We used to use a creamy liquid for the donuts, and we were a little skeptical,” he says, “but this lasted longer than the creamy oil.”
“We had some really good luck with the fryer life,” he says. “Some oils die pretty quickly, and we noticed a difference.
High oleic soybean oil has a lengthy list of attributes: it builds flavor support, has zero grams of trans fat, 75 percent less saturated fat than palm oil, provides essential omega-3 fat and is high in heart-healthy monosaturated fat. In the past few years, county soybean organizations throughout Minnesota have been holding high oleic promotions.
“We’re getting the word out and the response has already has been really positive,” says Rochelle Krusemark, a Martin County farmer and MSR&PC and United Soybean Board director. “I think the sky’s the limit for high oleic soybeans.”
While high oleic oil may cost more than other commodity oils, it has less pickup and oil uptake per-product, making it a better value, says Minnesota Soybean Director of Market Development Kim Nill.
“It may be a bit more costly because of the labor needed to make the oil, but the end benefits far outweigh the costs,” Nill says. “In the end, high oleic soybean oil is cheaper per day because you’re not replacing it as often.”
High oleic soybean oil isn’t currently available in grocery stores, but MSR&PC is selling 16-ounce bottles of Plenish High Oleic Soy oil for $4 on its website (https://mnsoybean.org/product/high-oleic-oil/).
Anderson says he’s interested in continuing to use high oleic at future events.
“Once it continues to get introduced into the marketplace, the prices will continue to go down,” he says. “The whole experience at Farmfest was a win-win.”