The Plenish branded high oleic soyabean oil, developed by DowDuPont unit DuPont Pioneer, has been approved for food and feed applications in the EU, with a requirement to carry a GM label on its packaging.

In late December, the European Commission approved the oil, which had been genetically modified to have a healthier nutritional profile and a longer fry life, reported Food Navigator on 2 February.

However, the Commission required the oil to carry GM labeling according to EU rules stating that all foods containing 0.9% or more of genetically modified ingredients must clearly carry such labels on their packaging.

The Plenish oil had 20% less saturated fat than typical soyabean oil, an oleic content of more than 75%, which was comparable to olive oil, and a linolenic acid content of less than 3%, which translated to greater oil stability and a longer fry life, according to DuPont.

Some European consumer goods manufacturers had already shown interest in Plenish, said Richard Galloway – a consultant and oils expert at US soya trade group Qualisoy.

“This will allow the industry to reach its goal of planting 18M high oleic soyabean acres (7.3M ha), resulting in 4bn kg of high oleic soyabean oil. In the coming decade, high oleic soyabeans will become the fourth-largest grain and oilseed crop in the USA,” Galloway told Food Navigator.

EU oilseed industry association Fediol’s secretary general Nathalie Lecocq said the group welcomed the Commission’s approval of a GM product that had been “positively assessed” by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

“Regarding Plenish, our understanding is that this soyabean and its oil is not targeted at the European market, but its commercialisation in other regions increases the risk of presence in our supplies. Hence, the authorisation will remove legal uncertainty for operators and will prevent that even small trace amounts would create trade disruptions,” said Lecocq.

Unlike in the USA, soyabean oil was not in common use in Europe, but its share of the market was rising globally, according to Food Navigator.