Monsanto International Sàrl - A healthy alternative for the vegetable oil market

To address European food industry and consumer needs, with health benefits that do not compromise agronomic and oil performance, or food taste, Monsanto, a market leader in oilseed rape (OSR) seed breeding, has brought to the market a new HOLL fatty acid profile. It decreases linolenic acid, while increasing oleic acid, to provide a good balance of omega-6 and omega-3, which also allows the HOLL OSR profile to be a good frying solution.

The consumption of vegetable oils is growing steadily, as it is not only related to the increase of the population but also to changes in eating habits; in particular, concerning catering.

Historically, food manufacturers used hydrogenation to improve oil stability and product shelf life. This extensive use of hydrogenation led to a significant increase in consumer consumption of 'trans' fat, which could have negative health consequences. The medical community had long recommended reducing dietary fat, and they were starting to understand the differences between specific good (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and bad (trans and saturated) fats.

There is a need today to increase the use of high-quality oil, limiting trans and saturated fat intake. The labelling rules and guidelines for packaging on a final food product help the consumers to be aware of what exactly it contains. However, at the same time, operators in the industry are looking for reliable, sustainable and cost-effective raw materials.

In this context, rapeseed oil is already recognised as a true healthy oil, especially for its high content of omega-3, which helps preserve the cardiovascular system. Rapeseed oil is experiencing a growing demand; however, it has one large restriction - it does not support high temperatures, which degrade and/or destroy its beneficial fatty acids.

Rapeseed oil is the answer

Since the 1990s, Monsanto has been a market leader in oilseed rape (OSR) seed breeding in the European market, with a team vision of a sustainable demand for high-stability oils.

Its mission is twofold: to meet the farmer's expectations, integrating local specifics, and to ensure a sustainable and profitable crop; and to respond to market and consumer expectations.

Monsanto has been a critical player in several conversions in the OSR market on the transition from single to double-low; to allow the consumption of meals by monogastric animals; to switch from lines to hybrid varieties to improve crop management, yield potential and farmers' profitability; and to improve on a regular basis the overall agronomic traits of the varieties (pest resistance/pod-shattering resistance).

HOLL (high oleic and low linolenic) refers to a range of winter oilseed rape (WOSR) varieties with a HOLL fatty acid oil profile. It was achieved by conventional breeding methods to provide an OSR oil with a specific fatty acid profile, benefitting food processors, foodservice operators and consumers.

HOLL OSR oil balances the practical requirements for a functional food oil:

  • Nutrition: HOLL OSR oil combines one of the lowest levels of saturated fats with substantial levels of oleic acid and only trace levels of trans fats.
  • Functionality: there is no substantial difference in taste, colour and texture between it and the most used edible oils (for example, palm or HO sunflower oil).
  • Stability: it has twice the frying life of regular OSR oil and a similar performance to HO sunflower oil.
  • Reliable and sustainable supply: it is possible to deliver a steady fatty acid profile across changing geographies and environmental influences.

Why HOLL OSR oil is a healthy option:

  • It has more than 75% oleic acid.
  • Replacing saturated fats in the diet with unsaturated fats contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels and oleic acid is an unsaturated fat.
  • Even with significantly reduced linolenic acid content, which leads to a better frying performance, HOLL OSR oil still has a good content of omega-3 (>0.6g alpha-linolenic acid per 100g and per 100kcal), and it
    contains a good amount of omega-6 (linoleic acid). A small amount of linolenic acid contributes to nice sensory properties.
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 are two essential fatty acids that contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol concentrations.
  • It has one of the lowest levels of saturated fats of vegetable oils, providing a good option to reduce the daily intake of the 'bad fat'.
  • Dietary guidance recommends a reduction of saturated fats in the diet because they are related to cardiovascular events.
  • It has only trace amounts of trans fats; trans fatty acids are associated with coronary heart disease; dietary guidance recommends to eliminate trans fats as much as possible; thus it helps food manufacturers meet lower trans fats levels in finished product.
  • It has a good natural vitamin-E content, which protects lipids, proteins and DNA against oxidative damages.

HOLL OSR is also a great alternative for deep frying because the level of unsaturation is the main factor that promotes oxidation and break down during the use of the hot oil. HOLL OSR oil, with less saturated fatty acids and higher levels of oleic acid, is more heat-resistant thanmany edible oils. It has a higher smoke point (246°C) - 4°C higher than regular OSR oil and close to HO sunflower oil - resulting in a higher resistance to the heating process than most edible oils, thus it is a good choice for the frying industry.

In summary, HOLL OSR oil is a better option than most other oils for fried use because it is stable at high temperatures, has a longer frying life than most edible oils and it provides a good taste to fried products.

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Monsanto International Sàrl
Rue du Sablon 2-4
Morges 1110
Email: [email protected]

The fats in oils are important to consider in one’s dietary intake.
Monsanto is looking at sustainable production of HOLL OSR oil.
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