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Pioneer launches Plenish high oleic soybean oil trait brand

Plenish is the new brand name for Pioneer Hi-Bred's high oleic soybean oil trait.

Pioneer plans to initially market these soybean products in 2010 in maturity groups 2 and 3 as part of a limited introduction, pending regulatory approval.

"It is a perfect fit for food companies seeking zero trans fat," says John Muenzenberger, Pioneer business manager for speciality oils.


John Muenzenberger, Pioneer business manger for specialty oils, discusses how high oleic oil soybeans can help soybeans regain share in the vegetable oil market.

The vegetable oil market has been changing in the last few years, due to a 2006 federal requirement that food labels list trans fat content. Trans fats have been linked to coronary heart disease, strokes and heart attacks. That’s prompted food companies to find more healthful oil sources.

Pioneer officials note many segments of the food industry have turned to low linolenic soybean oil -- another healthful option -- and non-soy oil options in recent years. They note this is largely driven by food companies' desire to eliminate partial hydrogenation. This process lengthens the shelf life of packaged foods, but also produces unhealthy trans fats.
Oils with low or no trans fats aren't necessarily healthy. Some oils -- such as palm oil -- have no trans fats, but are high in unhealthy saturated fats.

That's why high oleic soy oil is a good fit, say Pioneer officials. It's extremely stable, which eliminates the need for partial hydrogenation. It also has a healthier oil content. Pioneer officials say testing shows Plenish high oleic soybean oil has more than 20% less saturated fatty acid, including 40% less palmitic acid than commodity soybean oil and 75% less saturated fat than palm oil.


John Muenzenberger, Pioneer business manger for specialty oils, discusses how high oleic soybean oil has dual attributes of no trans fats and significantly lower saturated fats.

Pioneer developed Plenish soybeans in its Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT) system. They will be launched in its Y Series product line. The Plenish varieties will have agronomic and defensive traits that include resistance to soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Phytophthora, and sudden death syndrome.

"In 2008, we evaluated soybean performance in tests in 40 Midwestern locations," says Steve Schnebly, Pioneer senior research manager, crop genetics research and development. "In these tests, the Plenish soybeans yielded on par with other Y series soybeans. The products in the field this year look equally impressive."

For the first couple years, Plenish soybeans will be limited to maturity groups 2 and 3, with expansion to maturity groups 0 to 5 starting later next decade. Farmers will receive a premium for growing and segregating Plenish soybeans, but that amount has not yet been determined. The seed pricing strategy for Plenish soybeans has also not yet been determined, say Pioneer officials.

Plenish is the new brand name for Pioneer Hi-Bred's high oleic soybean oil trait.

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