Can Help New York City Restaurants Comply With Trans Fat Ban

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC – Canola oil, particularly its high-stability version, can help New York City restaurants comply with the ban on artificial trans fat that was approved today by the NYC Board of Health. City restaurants will be barred from using oils and spreads containing trans fat by July 1, 2007 and will have to eliminate artificial trans fat from all foods by July 1, 2008. New York is the first U.S. city to ban this fat from restaurant foods.

Artificial trans fat comes from partially hydrogenated (PH) vegetable oils, which account for the vast majority of trans fat in the American diet. Consumption of this fat increases one’s risk of heart disease as it increases LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the blood. It can also decrease HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

Canola oil, which is free of trans fat and cholesterol and the lowest in saturated fat (7%) of any common edible oil, is a natural replacement for PH oils in spreads and certain food applications. High-stability canola oil is particularly well suited to the food service industry as it also offers functional characteristics that allow for extended fry life and cost efficiencies.

“High-stability canola oil is an excellent choice for replacing PH oils in food preparation,” said John Haas, president of the U.S. Canola Association (USCA). “It can provide a solution now for restaurants and bakers looking for a healthy fat profile along with functionality.”

High-stability canola oil is available to the food and food service industries. It is ideal for high-heat uses like deep-frying and baking, but has a range of applications. Suppliers of this oil estimate that it can eliminate trans and decrease saturated fats in foods, reducing total “bad fats” by up to 80 percent.

High-stability canola oil is already helping restaurants serve healthier foods. Taco Bell in the U.S. and KFC in Canada recently announced that they’re switching to this oil from PH vegetable oils in order to reduce or eliminate trans fats from menu items.

On Oct. 6, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for canola oil due to its high unsaturated fat content and ability to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

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The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) was established in 1989 to increase U.S. canola production in order to meet the growing public demand for healthy products. Based in Washington, D.C., the USCA promotes and encourages the establishment and maintenance of conditions favorable to the production, marketing, processing and use of domestic canola.

Contact: Angela Dansby, 202-969-8113, angela@uscanola.com