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US demand for healthier soybean oil outpacing supply

The hubbub about the heart risks of trans fats has caused a huge demand for a healthier new soybean oil, prompting food companies to recruit farmers to grow new varieties of the beans.

New soybean varieties contain a lower level of acids that cause food to become stale or rancid. That means the oil doesn't require hydrogenation, the process that increases trans fat content.

Last season, farmers planted 160,000 acres of the new beans. This spring, farmers are expected to plant 750,000 acres, said Linda Funk, spokeswoman for the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board.

"The demand definitely is there and much greater than our supply at this point," Funk said.

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The hubbub about the heart risks of trans fats has caused a huge demand for a healthier new soybean oil, prompting food companies to recruit farmers to grow new varieties of the beans.

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