Beans could mean bucks for farmers

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ST. LOUIS – U.S. soybean farmers face great challenges and even greater opportunities in the coming years due to the need to cut trans fats out of foods by supplying healthier varieties of soybean oil.
Soybean oil represents a 17- to 18-billion-pound market each year in the United States.
Recently, the food industry has recognized the need to replace the 7 billion pounds to 8 billion pounds of oil that is partially hydrogenated. The process of hydrogenation forms trans-fatty acids, which scientists recognize to be an unhealthy variety of fatty acid.
Healthier oil. Soybeans with a reduced amount of linolenic acid – low-lin soybeans – can meet this need for a healthier oil. Premiums available for low-lin beans range from 35 cents to $1.
Low-lin varieties are available in 14 states, and this number is increasing every year.

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