High oleic soybean oil can be used in place of many neutral cooking oils such as canola, vegetable and safflower oils. Purdue University tested the high oleic oil in a dining hall and an on-campus restaurant to determine how it compared to the oils those establishments typically use and customers’ perceptions of the new oil.
Hillenbrand Hall’s dining court tested high oleic soybean oil in fryers in the spring of 2016. Staff also performed sensory tests with students, comparing french fries cooked in the high oleic soybean oil and canola oil, which is traditionally used for frying in dining hall food courts. The biggest takeaway was that the high oleic soybean oil didn’t transfer flavors like canola oil does. In other words, fries cooked in high oleic soybean oil didn’t taste like chicken or fish that had been fried in the oil previously. The Sagamore Restaurant in the Purdue Memorial Union also uses high oleic soybean oil in place of canola for frying, but also uses the oil in vinaigrette salad dressings and for sautéing. Similarly, there were no flavor transfers, and chefs noted that the high oleic soybean oil’s clarity made fresh herbs added to dressings seem brighter.
Chefs noted that those people with allergies are wary of high oleic soybean oil, but the portion of the soybean seed that contains the allergen protein isn’t present in the oil. With more education about the oil, and a drop in price once acreage of these soybeans increases, high oleic soybean oil could become a standard in Purdue University’s dining establishments.
Meet the Experts
Greg Minner is the Director of Purdue Dining & Catering at Purdue University. Greg attained an associate degree in business from West Virginia University, his bachelor's degree at Glenville State College and later earned his MBA from Colorado Christian University.
As director, he oversees 41 operations by working with the directors of each and maps out the strategic plan. He has been the treasurer and president of the Midwest region of the National Association of College & University Food Services.
Bruce Haumesser is the Director of Culinary Operations and an Executive Chef at Purdue University. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Haumesser has had a career of working in the hospitality industry. He has worked in hotels as Executive Chef, and as the Director of Food and Beverage.