Purdue Dining Tests Indiana High Oleic Soy Oil

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High Oleic at Purdue DiningJack KennedyPurdue Dining & Catering is giving high oleic soybean oil from locally grown and processed beans a test run at Hillenbrand Dining Court, one of five on the campus. The early feedback on the zero-trans fats oil from both the kitchen and the students is positive. During a field to table event hosted at Hillenbrand by Indiana Soybean Alliance and the United Soybean Board, Jack Kennedy, Purdue Executive Sous Chef graded the oil positively.

“From a chef’s point of view it’s been fun. We really like the performance which has been great. Some of the product that we are serving today actually is with oil over 7 days old, and it’s just like we’re using fresh oil. Comparatively speaking, we find that some of the other oils are going to dissipate faster. They’re not going to last as long and they’re going to start smoking and get really dark and degrade.”

Greg Minner, Director of Purdue Dining Services told HAT the testing of high oleic oil started right after spring break and will continue through the end of the semester. Sensory testing by students was done with the canola oil foods prior to spring break, and now that testing shifts to the foods cooked entirely in high oleic soybean oil.

High Oleic at Purdue Dining“Some comments from students already is that they like the taste and texture of the items that we’ve been deep frying. The sensory testing was mainly with French fries, which is probably one of the most popular items in the dining court. We ask does it taste the same, does it taste better? So I think we’re looking for those results to say yes, this is something we can look at for the future.”

He said the cost of the oil will also determine its viability for future use. Testing and research on the oil is being done by United Soybean Board and Purdue Ag’s Department of Food Science.

A number of farmers who grow the high oleic beans attended the event, including USB board member Mike Beard from Frankfort.

“I get the warm fuzzy feeling when I come back to campus and get to talk to people about something I raise in my field that gets processed at the hometown processer.”

David Rodibaugh has had a good experience growing the high oleic beans. He farms in Rensselaer.

“I really believe in the program because it’s a much more healthy oil. I think it’s the coming thing, the thing we really need to do as farmers to meet the demand of consumers. Here we are reaching young consumers with the message of a better product that is developed through research.”

He says the Purdue dining opportunity is a really good place to start in bringing the product to the public.