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In November, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of a qualified health claim citing that oils high in oleic acid, such as high oleic soybean oil, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
The authorized health claim applies to edible oils containing at least 70 percent of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that provides the stability required for oils to perform in a variety of food applications. Food companies with existing products which meet FDA requirements can consider adding the health claim to labels of foods made with the ingredient (with inclusion of the proper disclaimers), and brands seeking to source heart-healthy ingredients for emerging products can test high oleic soybean oil in formulations. High oleic soybean oil oleic acid levels exceed 70 percent and can go as high as 75 percent, and the oil is lower in saturated fat compared to some other high-stability oils commonly used in food production.
High oleic soybean oil, approved for global use as of December 2017, offers food companies increased functionality, such as extended fry life, increased stability and a neutral flavor profile, making it ideal for frying, sautéing, baked goods and snack foods. It is a domestic crop, supporting U.S. farmers.
The announcement of the qualified health claim for oils high in oleic acid follows the FDA’s August 2017 authorization of the use of a qualified health claim confirming conventional soybean oil’s ability to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.2 Conventional and high oleic soybean oils have different fatty acid profiles.
Lisa Kelly, MPH, RDN
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