Cargill is introducing a soybean oil made from identity-preserved (IdP), conventionally-bred (non-GM) soybeans for customers interested in exploring a non-GMO claim on their product label. The oil is refined in Cargill’s Des Moines, Iowa, plant in a process certified by SGS, a global inspection, verification, testing and certification company.
“Despite the many merits of biotechnology, consumer interest in food and beverage products made from non-GM ingredients is growing, creating opportunities and challenges for food manufacturers and food service operators,” said Ethan Theis, food ingredients commercial manager, Cargill.
Supplies of Cargill’s new oil are limited, and one food manufacturer already has purchased a significant portion of the available supply. According to Theis, producing an IdP soybean oil from non-GM soybeans is an intricate process, from procuring a dedicated supply of non-GM soybeans to developing processes to avoid co-mingling with bioengineered crops during harvesting, transportation, storage, handling, processing and refining. The Des Moines plant was chosen because it was the most cost-efficient refinery for a specialty program producing non-GMO soybean oil, Theis explained to Feedstuffs.
“We haven’t defined growth expectations but will continue to work with customers to better understand demand for non-GMO soybean oil,” he added.
Theis said the company is currently sourcing soybeans from farmers in Iowa and Illinois and will be able to offer a limited supply to customers beginning September 2014. “The number of producers we’ll work with will depend on product demand.”
“Developing industrial scale IdP products is difficult but something Cargill is well-suited for because of our knowledge of consumer trends, formulation experience, supply-chain management expertise, manufacturing infrastructure and strong relationships with farmers,” Theis said.
Cargill has extensive global experience helping food manufacturers’ source non-GM crops and ingredients made from non-GM crops. The combination of Cargill’s portfolio of non-GM sweeteners, starches, texturizers, oils, cocoa and chocolate, fibers, and stabilizer systems, coupled with R&D and global supply chain capabilities, allows Cargill to help customers manage both the product development and supply chain challenges associated with reformulating to non-GMO.