Division of Agriculture, Riceland Foods enter joint effort in oil production

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Riceland Foods of Stuttgart and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture have reached agreement to cooperate in research aimed at commercializing technology to produce soy oil rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

The idea is that CLA-rich soy oil has health benefits that can reduce obesity-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

One of the research project’s objectives is to evaluate the quality of products based in CLA-rich soy oil for their potential use in salad oils, shortenings and margarine and as a substitute for partially hydrogenated oils, which are a source of trans fat.

The Division’s food scientists will work with Riceland personnel to prepare margarine and shortening and evaluate their physical properties such as firmness, texture and melting behavior in comparison to those products’ conventionally prepared versions.

After producing a variety of foods using CLA-rich oil, the researchers will evaluate their stability and consumers’ acceptance of the products. CLA-rich foods have been developed from the oil that would allow consumers to obtain the necessary daily intake to combat obesity-related diseases.