Healthier Oils, Healthier Business

ABOUT OMEGA-9 OILS

THE HISTORY OF OMEGA-9 OILS

The origin of Omega-9 Oils can be traced back to the mid-1980s. At that time, food manufacturers were using hydrogenation to improve oil stability and product shelf life. This extensive use of hydrogenation led to a significant increase in consumer consumption of trans fats, which research later suggested could have negative health consequences. The medical community had long recommended reducing dietary fat, but now they were starting to understand the differences between specific good and bad fats.

With consumer and food industry demand for healthier ingredients, researchers at Dow AgroSciences responded by using their expertise in plant science to breed better nutrition profiles in oilseeds. Their solution? Improve upon key oilseed crops so they produce naturally stable oil that does not require hydrogenation but continues to deliver strong results for farmers. This work began with canola because with minimal levels of saturated fats, it already had a favorable nutrition profile. In addition, canola is a versatile and resilient crop that produces oil-rich seeds.

Through traditional plant breeding, Dow AgroSciences developed an improved fatty acid profile in canola, with zero trans fats and low saturated fats (“bad fats”). The new technology was named Omega-9 Canola Oil, due to high levels of its namesake omega-9 monounsaturated fats. In 1996, the technology became commercially available as NexeraTM canola seed. Now, Omega-9 Canola Oil is readily available as an important source of the good fats the latest nutrition guidelines recommend.

Omega-9 Canola Oil also offers superior performance. The oil is versatile, affordable and naturally stable, which helps maintain freshness and taste without additives or preservatives, keeping labels simple and clean. Farmers and customers can choose between genetically modified (GM) and non-GM platforms.

Due to increasing consumer demand, Omega-9 Canola is grown on more than 1.5 million acres, primarily in Western Canada and the Northern United States. The more than 1 billion pounds of Omega-9 Canola Oil produced annually can be easily traced from the region where the plants are grown to the processing facilities where harvested seeds become oil.

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