Tasty food requires oil. From frying and sautéing to baking and mixing sauces, oil plays a critical role in countless recipes.
Soybean oil is one of the most abundant, widely used vegetable oils in the world.
“U.S. soybean oil delivers an unmatched combination of quality, sustainability and reliability,” says Will McNair, director of oil and soy food programs and deputy director of Northeast Asia, USSEC. “It is part of the solution for growing global vegetable oil needs.”
He credits USSEC for efforts that demonstrate the benefits of soybean oil to customers around the world. The combination of providing education and evidence shows soy food industry leaders how to capture the value of oil from U.S. Soy.
For several years, USSEC has offered the Soy Oil Master Program, partially funded by the soy checkoff, to selected food manufacturers and food service providers in various markets. The course covers the advantages of soybean oil of U.S. origin, including its nutritional aspects, practical applications such as oxidation and fry life, production and sustainability.
“Our goal is for participants to understand the variety of advantages delivered by U.S. soybean oil and how it impacts their food,” McNair says. “Those participants share what they learned and the value of oil from U.S. Soy with their colleagues and peers in the industry to extend the impact of the program.”
USSEC began offering the program in Japan in 2017 in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Seoul. Over the next four years, 353 industry representatives participated. In 2022, USSEC organized an advanced course to update selected past participants about high oleic soybean oil and sustainability. The 91 Grand Masters, or masters of the master program, fortified their role as ambassadors for the value of U.S. soybean oil.
During the summer of 2022, USSEC hosted the U.S. Soy International Oil Masters event in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the U.S. Midwest, welcoming Soy Oil Masters from nine countries. The event provided a first-hand view of soy research, processing, on-farm production and more.
“Soybean oil is versatile and delivers advantages to various regions of the world,” McNair added. “Seeing the refining advantages and quality controls first-hand and connecting with experts encourages customer comfort using U.S. Soy.”
High Oleic Soybean Oil Evidence
USSEC brings evidence of the benefits of high oleic soybean oil on food quality to potential customers through events around the world.
“High oleic soybean oil is a U.S. Soy innovation that offers improved functional and nutritional characteristics,” McNair explains. “It contains lower saturated fat and three times the amount of beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids, compared to many conventional vegetable oils.”
In Panama, USSEC hosted the Future of Frying Conference in May 2022, partially funded by the soy checkoff. Nearly 40 millers, refiners, food service operators and food manufacturers from around Latin America learned about the fat profile, longer fry and shelf life, versatility and sustainability of high oleic soybean oil. Speakers and professional chefs shared the benefits and cooking solutions it offers. Live frying and baking demonstrations highlighted the performance and taste of this vegetable oil option.
The Taipei Bakery Association invited USSEC Taiwan to introduce U.S. high oleic soybean oil at the Taipei International Bakery Show in March 2022. USSEC gave three presentations: an introduction of high oleic soybean oil and its nutritional characteristics, baking applications of the product and how high oleic soybean oil can be purchased. Attendees asked for oil samples for testing, for additional evidence on the performance of this oil.
“Events like these allow us to demonstrate the enhanced functionality, extended fry life and increased functionality of high oleic soybean oil compared to conventional soybean and other oils,” McNair says. “At the same time, USSEC is showing how U.S. Soy is part of specific solutions for vegetable oil needs.”
He notes that vegetable oil should enhance food quality. The education and evidence USSEC delivers increases the confidence food service providers and manufacturers have in U.S. Soy.
This story is partially funded by U.S. Soy farmers, their checkoff and the soy value chain.