In keeping with a commitment to deliver innovations for agriculture, food companies and consumers, Monsanto Company and Solae, LLC announced today that the companies have reached an important regulatory milestone that advances the development of foods containing the world's first stearidonic acid (SDA) omega-3 soybean oil product.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) notice confirming that the SDA omega-3 soybean oil could be used under the intended conditions of use.
The confirmation of GRAS status enables food companies to develop and test foods containing the new omega-3 oil, which are important steps towards consumers being able to benefit from this omega-3 product in a variety of food products with an acceptable taste experience.
Consumer demand for omega-3 fatty acids is growing as research continues to demonstrate that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids help play an important role in maintaining health, including heart health.
"Consumers are increasingly looking for ways to improve health through better nutrition," said Al Gallegos, marketing and sales director for omega-3 -- Solae. "One approach food companies are taking is incorporating omega-3s into food and beverage products. The development of this new, plant-based omega-3 soybean oil can play an important role in helping food companies achieve this objective."
Monsanto developed the soybean product that produces oil containing SDA, an omega-3 fatty acid. Earlier this year, the company completed U.S. regulatory submissions to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and FDA for the product that produces a sustainable, land-based source of SDA omega-3 soybean oil. Upon completion of the regulatory process, food companies will be able to purchase this new food oil and deliver its benefits to consumers.
"As the population expands and consumer demand for healthier foods grows, this product could offer farmers and the food industry an opportunity to help meet this growing demand in a sustainable manner," said Roy Fuchs, Monsanto's global technology lead for oilseeds. "This soybean trait will be one of several value-added traits Monsanto is working hard to launch that will directly benefit consumers and the food industry."
Currently, the only significant source of long-chain, omega-3 fatty acids are fish and algal oils, which are expensive and difficult to incorporate into food products. The new omega-3 soybean oil would enable food manufacturers to enhance the nutritional benefits of a broad range of food products because of its preferred sensory qualities and functional performance in familiar food and beverage applications. Monsanto and Solae are actively seeking food application partnerships with companies interested in delivering food products to consumers with this improved oil.
"Evidence strongly suggests that increased consumption of dietary omega-3 fatty acids could have major health benefits," said Eric Decker, Ph.D., Professor and Department Head of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. "The availability of a new high quality, sustainable source of nutritionally active omega-3 fatty acids would be a useful food ingredient that could be extremely beneficial to consumers."
Monsanto and Solae announced in 2007 an agreement to develop and market Omega-3 products for a rapidly growing market. The agreement combines each company's unique strengths to deliver innovation to consumers. For food manufacturers seeking more information on SDA omega-3 soybean oil, call Solae at 800-325-7108.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MonsantoCo, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
About Solae, LLC
Solae, LLC is the world leader in developing innovative soy-based technologies and ingredients for food, meat and nutritional products. Solae provides solutions that deliver a unique combination of functional, nutritional and economic benefits to our customers. At Solae, we take one of nature's best resources, the soybean, and create nutritious and great-tasting ingredients. Our goal is to provide solutions for today while innovating for tomorrow. With more than 1,000 products used by more than 3,500 customers, Solae's soy ingredients are enjoyed by consumers around the world in products such as baked goods, beverages, nutrition bars, meats, vegetarian meals and much more. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion, the company was formed through an alliance between Bunge and DuPont. For more information, visit www.solae.com, or follow our company on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/SolaeLLC and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SolaeLLC.