Tyler Groeneveld discusses Omega-9 oil as part of Dow AgroSciences' Innovation In Agriculture tour.


 The market for healthy canola cooking oil continues to grow.


"Omega 9 oil, in the last 5 to 7 years, has been readily adopted by food service companies," says Tyler Groeneveld, Omega-9 canola oil market manager for Dow AgroSciences' Nexera program, noting they're now trying to convince packaged food makers to use healthy canola oil. "Weaver Popcorn Company, in the last three months, is the real first entry for Omega 9 canola oil in a packaged good, like microwave popcorn."

    Omega-9 canola oil is favoured over traditional cooking oils due to its improved stability and nutritional benefits. It does not require hydrogenation to be stable, meaning it does not contain trans-fats. Saturated fat levels are also lower than palm, soybean, corn, sunflower, and even olive oil.

    Groeneveld notes government legislation and dietary guidelines have helped increase canola oil adoption. "The entire industry has benefited from the legislation aimed at removing trans-fats from the diet," he says. "It was one of the logical solutions." This need for reduced trans-fat levels has been a factor in having restaurant chains like Taco Bell, A&W and Boston Pizza switch to the Omega-9 canola oil.

    "We continue to work with large global and multinational food companies that have moved away from transfats. Some of those companies are now looking for next generation oils that might bring more functionality and better value."

    Groeneveld notes the healthy canola oil could soon be facing some competition, as several companies are developing soybeans which contain oil profiles similar to Omega-9 canola oil. "It's a real threat. Soybean oil is trying to replicate and come up with a competitive profile to our Omega-9 profile. End use customers still don't know how it's going to perform...what will be the sensory impact? How stable is it going to be across broad environments? Even how are large soybean crushers going to be able to identity preserve a crop like that?"

    Omega 9 canola is derived from Nexera canola. Nexera varieties account for around 5 percent of the canola grown in western Canada. Dow AgroSciences is planning on registering two new hybrid Nexera varieties to be ready for use in spring of 2011.

~ Friday, September 24, 2010 ~