MIDLAND — The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) Monday announced Omega-9 Oils as its first Breakthrough to World Challenges, addressing one of the company’s 2015 Sustainability Goals in the area of health.

Since 2005, the use of Omega-9 oils has eliminated more than one billion pounds of trans and saturated fat from the North American diet. Trans and saturated fat in a diet have shown to increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. As part of its 2015 goals, Dow committed to achieving at least three breakthroughs that will significantly help solve world challenges in the areas of energy and climate change, water, food, housing and health.

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“Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required food labeling of trans fats since 2006, many processed foods still contain unhealthy levels of trans fats and high levels of saturated fat,” said Neil Hawkins, vice president of Sustainability and EH&S for Dow. “Omega-9 Oils, developed by Dow AgroSciences, are a critical step in addressing world health problems related to nutrition and lifestyle – and another example of Dow innovation pointed squarely at the most pressing issues of our time.”

Omega-9 Oils have zero trans fat and the lowest amount of saturated fat among commonly used cooking oils, including corn, cottonseed, palm, peanut and soybean. Derived from Dow subsidiary Dow AgroSciences’ Nexera canola and sunflower seeds, Omega-9 Oils are used by the food processing and food service industries.

Omega-9 Oils are used widely throughout North America and increasingly in Asia, Europe and Latin America. More than 100 leading restaurant chains and packaged food companies currently use Omega-9 Oils.

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In order to be designated as a Breakthrough to World Challenges, Omega-9 Oils passed a rigorous, transparent evaluation by Dow scientists and external stakeholders. Omega-9 Oils, like other candidates in Dow’s R&D pipeline, were evaluated for positive impact on millions of human lives, as well as minimal environmental impact from development through manufacturing, distribution, use and end-life.

Canola production uses equal or less energy and inputs than other oil crops. Canola can promote productive soils and sustainable production practices when grown in a proper crop rotation with sound integrated pest management strategies.

Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals focus the company’s efforts on strengthening relationships within communities, continuing to improve product stewardship, innovating to solve world challenges and reducing its global footprint.

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For more information on Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals, and to read the whitepaper on Omega-9 Oils as a Breakthrough to World Challenges, visit www.dow.com/sustainability.