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Title: Development of rigorous fatty acid near-infrared spectroscopy quantitation methods in support of soybean oil improvement

item KARN, AVINASH - University Of Missouri
item HEIM, CRYSTAL - University Of Missouri
item Flint-Garcia, Sherry
item Bilyeu, Kristin
item Gillman, Jason

Submitted to: Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2016
Publication Date: 1/1/2017
Publication URL:
Citation: Karn, A., Heim, C., Flint Garcia, S.A., Bilyeu, K.D., Gillman, J.D. 2017. Development of rigorous fatty acid near-infrared spectroscopy quantitation methods in support of soybean oil improvement. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 94:69-76. doi:10.1007/s11746-016-2916-4.

Interpretive Summary: Soybean is the preeminent oilseed crop in the United States, owing to its’ high quality protein and oil. However, soybean oil from typical cultivars is oxidative unstable (i.e. prone to going rancid) which limits unmodified soybean oil’s utility in many food applications. Until recently, the vast majority of soybean oil was chemically hydrogenated, a process which increases stability but introduces trans fats as an unavoidable side effect. With the removal of "Generally Regarded As Safe" status for trans fats by the FDA, food companies are avoiding the use of hydrogenated oils. In order to maintain the value of soybean oil, breeders have utilized specific genetic alterations (GMO or non-GMO) to produce cultivars with specific oil compositions for targeted markets to avoid the need for hydrogenation. This new emphasis has increased the need to rapidly, accurately and efficiently quantify soybean oil composition. We have developed a non-destructive, rapid, non-toxic and accurate method using scanning near-infrared spectroscopy, that has been tested on a unique set of lines that have been developed to meet every major soybean oil breeding goal. These scanning methods have great utility and will accelerate deployment and quality control of soybean lines with altered oil composition destined for the farmer’s field.

Technical Abstract: The seed of soybean (Glycine max L. Merr) is a valuable source of high quality edible oil and protein. Despite dramatic breeding gains over the past 80 years, soybean seed oil continues to be oxidatively unstable. Until recently, the majority of soybean oil underwent partial chemical hydrogenation. However mounting health concerns over trans fats has increased breeding efforts with mutant and biotechnological genetic alterations of soybean oil composition. As a result, there is an ongoing need to characterize fatty acid composition in a rapid, inexpensive and accurate manner. Gas chromatography is the most commonly used method, but Near-Infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a non-destructively technology that infers seed components via their interaction with electromagnetic radiation. Here we detail development of NIRS calibrations using intact seed for every major soybean fatty acid breeding goal. The NIRS calibrations were shown equivalent to destructive chemical analysis, and the use in a soybean breeding operation has the potential to dramatically reduce cost and accelerate phenotypic analysis.