Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm

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The ISU Northeast Research Farm has been evaluating food grade soybean varieties for the last three years including the new Iowa State low linolenic soybean varieties. The “low lin” soybeans have lower levels of linolenic acid, which reduces or eliminates the need for partial hydrogenation, a process used to extend freshness of food products and the frying life of conventional cooking oils. The partial hydrogenation process results in the formation of trans fatty acids, that are linked to heart disease, because they elevate LDL (bad) cholesterol while lowering HDL (good) cholesterol. In 2004, only two new low linolenic soybean varieties were available in the 2.7 and 3.1 maturity range. New varieties with 1% linolenic acid are currently being produced in soybean breeding programs and will be available with improved plant characteristics and adapted to a wider geographical area for 2005. Premiums are designed to cover yield drag, identity preservation cost, and the higher value of food grade soybean products. Producers will need performance data to determine whether the premium offered for growing the new soybeans is adequate.

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Iowa State University



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