June 26, 2006 at 07:00 AM EDT
The Food Processing Industry Can Now Offer Healthier Ingredients Without Compromising Taste or Performance
Studies Show a New Generation of Trans Fat-Free, High Oleic Canola and Sunflower Oils Can Ease the Transition Away From Partially Hydrogenated Oils

In a technical session held today at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., a panel of researchers and industry specialists shared results from several studies on the performance, taste, nutrition, and supply benefits associated with Dow AgroSciences' trans fat-free, healthier cooking oils. Acting as a replacement for partially hydrogenated (PH) oils, study results point to high oleic, low linolenic (HOLL) canola oil as the superior performing product for applications ranging from use in frying, baking, as a spray oil, and as an ingredient.

These new oils, produced from Dow AgroSciences' specially bred NEXERA(TM) canola and sunflower seeds, have high oxidative stability and are exemplary alternatives to today's partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils are high in trans fats, which have been linked to a significantly increased risk of heart disease. These new oils, which have a unique combination of high oleic and low linolenic fatty acid content, are defined as containing zero trans fats and lower saturated fats, making them a healthier choice for food processors, food service, and consumers.

The American Heart Association's (AHA) newly released Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations for 2006, which replace guidelines previously issued in 2000, prominently address two key areas for change. Specifically, for fats, AHA lowers the goal from less than 10 percent to less than seven percent of calories from saturated fat in the diet. They also call for less than one percent of total calories coming from trans fat. In order to accomplish this, they call upon the food industry and restaurants to assist the general public in accomplishing these goals by using trans fat-free and low saturated fat oils in food preparation, processed foods, and baked goods.

"When formulating a healthier shortening for use in baking applications, a HOLL canola/fully saturated cottonseed blend performed better than conventional commercial shortenings in a series of trials by providing uniform grain, soft crumb, and good volume," said Frank Orthoefer of FTO Food Technology LLC, referring to conclusions in his baking study.

"It is a big step to take the trans fat out of shortening, which is traditionally 20-30 percent trans," adds David Dzisiak, global business leader for oils at Dow AgroSciences.

These healthier oils can replace partially hydrogenated oils in many current applications such as spray oils, frying and baking, and offers the right oxidative stability for long-term shelf life without aftertaste or interfering with the flavor of the food. Additionally, these oils provide consistency, clean, light taste and texture.

"This new research confirms that these new oils are commercially viable alternatives based on their improved health profile, performance, taste, and cost. These new canola and sunflower oils are available in commercial quantities from major oil suppliers, and Dow AgroSciences recently made a pledge to double the production of these oils," Dzisiak said.

Superior Taste

A consumer product study of 170 adults and 179 teenagers conducted by Jeffrey Gross Marketing Research found that french fries prepared using the new Dow AgroSciences canola oil were equally preferred to fries prepared using today's commonly used frying oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil.

When compared to a new, trans fat-free soybean oil, however, both the adults and teenagers significantly preferred the taste of fries cooked in Dow AgroSciences' new trans fat-free canola oil... by a margin of two to one.

Superior Performance

A study by the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Lethbridge in Canada found that these new oils have more than a 50 percent greater fry life when compared to other cooking oils, making them cost-effective for the food industry to switch.

The study, led by Roman Przybylski, PhD compared the fry life and performance of 10 cooking oils used to prepare three different foods (french fries, chicken, and fish) in a restaurant-style rotation.

In the study, the new oils outperformed current industry standards by extending life by greater than 50 percent. The study measured the presence of total polar material (TPM) formation to determine the oil discard point. The research team used 24 percent TPM, which is a recognized international analytical standard at which oil should be discarded.

The Dow AgroSciences canola and sunflower oils never reached the 24 percent TPM mark, even after 88 hours of frying over the course of 11 days. Partially hydrogenated soybean oil, low linolenic soybean oil, low linolenic canola oil, and liquid canola oil all passed the discard point at day six after 48 hours of frying.

Superior Nutrition

In nutritional tests conducted as part of the Lethbridge study, food prepared using the high stability canola oil had the lowest combined level of trans fats and saturated fats of any oil tested. Nutrition analysis demonstrated that the foods fried in the Dow AgroSciences' canola oil had 65 percent lower levels of combined trans fats and saturated fats than the same foods fried in partially hydrogenated oils.

Food processors, who attended the session today, learned that "The best nutritional quality of fried foods were obtained when HOLL canola oil was used as the frying medium," said Przybylski.

About Dow AgroSciences

Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is a top tier agricultural company providing innovative crop protection, seeds, and biotechnology solutions to serve the world's growing population. A wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, global sales for Dow AgroSciences are $3.4 billion. Learn more at www.dowagro.com.

(TM)Trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC


FOR MORE INFORMATION
Robyn Heine
Email Contact
(317) 337-4807

Mandy Levings
Email Contact
(816) 512-2379

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