'Healthy french fries' sound like an oxymoron? A biotech company based in Minnesota is about to change that for you with a new frying oil derived from genetically redesigned soybean plants, that contains less saturated fat and more healthy oleic acid than typical frying oils.
Translated to french fries, that means perfectly crispy fries cooked in an oil that has the neutral taste of vegetable oil but with heart-healthy qualities of olive oil.
The healthier vegetable oil was developed by Calyxt, whose genetically engineered oil has been shipping out to foodservice companies and restaurants all over the US. Its vertically integrated system means it has contracts with farmers across the Midwest to grow its gene-edited, high oleic soybeans; recently increased to 100,000 acres to meet the increasing demand for their healthier frying oil.
We all know that olive oil is better for you, with monounsaturated fats that can raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. But while its earthy aftertaste is delicious in pasta or salads, it's not so desirable in say, fried chicken or donuts, neither is its lower smoke point any use in producing golden-crisp results.
This is clearly great news for fry-lovers (that means all of us), knowing that at least there is something healthy-ish about a good old fry-up.
Gene-editing is changing the fate of our favourite junk foods. What will next? Non-fat butter that tastes just like butter? Watch this space.