Taking the “Year of Soy” to Next Level

When it comes to state fairs, fried foods reign supreme. At the themed “Year of the Soybean” for the Indiana State Fair, some of the event’s favorite fried foods received an upgrade – thanks to high-oleic soybean oil and the soybean-checkoff-funded Indiana Soybean Alliance.

From funnel cakes and french fries to mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders, food vendors fried fairgoers’ favorite treats in an oil that represents a big market for soybean farmers.

“High-oleic soybean oil provides benefits to both consumers and farmers,” says Jim Schriver, soybean farmer from Montpelier, Ind., and chair of USB’s domestic marketing program. “We’re highlighting the health benefits to consumers, but ultimately we want farmers to see the market potential these soybean varieties offer, and to consider growing high-oleic soybeans when they become available.”

High-oleic soybeans represent a game changer when it comes to enhanced-trait soybeans. Backed by years of research, the soybean industry stands to recapture oil-market share for U.S. soybean farmers through these elite varieties.

“High-oleic soybeans provide soybean farmers with an opportunity to make soybean oil even more valuable to the food industry,” adds Schriver. “A vast majority of our soybean oil ends up in the human diet, and the oil health profile of these new varieties will help meet consumer demand for healthier food products.”

Indiana State Fair vendors embraced the new oil at the two-week event and witnessed its benefits for the food service industry. Not only does the oil offer less saturated fat, but it also provides the food industry with a more stable oil with a longer fry life.

The United Soybean Board, along with industry coalition QUALISOY, promote new, enhanced oils and varieties to consumers and farmers to help them gain acceptance throughout both industries.