Food manufacturers started working on other oil options when evidence about the dangerous chemistry of trans fat began mounting steadily after a major study in 1990. The amount of PHOs in food in the US was reduced by 50% between 2006 + 2008, and by 85% in 2015.
That’s a tall order for food manufacturers. PHOs are in every deep fryer + box of cookies. They’re in coffee creamers, microwave popcorn and cereals with cartoon characters on the box. So, what will it take to replace them? A mix of liquid + solid fats and some serious cooperation from oil producers, fast food chains and makers of packaged foods.
Baking with these “new” liquid oils requires some added solid fat, and palm oil, which is mostly saturated, is the the common choice. The good news – when trying new products produced without PHOs, you probably won’t even be able to tell the difference.
The high content of “good fats” (monounsaturated + polyunsaturated) and low levels of “bad fats” (saturated + trans fat) have been highlighted by food makers for years. Many products have already improved thanks to partially-hydrogenated soybean oil, which contains the anti-inflammatory omega-9 fatty acid, oleic acid.
Currently, high oleic canola oils are popular because they have been present longer in commercial quantities compared to soybean oils. Edible oils which contain high-oleic sunflower oil are also available, but in lower quantities.
Dow Chemical Company’s Dow AgroSciences LLC has a non-GMO omega-9 canola oil with levels of saturated fat that are below olive oil. It has a clean, light flavor and is gaining popularity in foodservice chains + snack manufacturers, according to the company.Plenish, by DuPont Company’s DuPont Pioneer subsidiary, is a new trans fat free oil with similar characteristics. The company reduced saturated fat in soybean oil by 20% and increased the omega-9 fats to compare to olive oil via genetic modification. This is also being used in packaged goods.Vistive Gold by Monsanto is another genetically-engineered soybean oil, yet to be released. It also contains high omega-9 fatty acids, low saturated fat and improved stability compared to regular soybean oil.Qualisoy, a blended high-oleic soybean oil, is another possible competitor in the soybean industry.
The new soybean oils have a more favorable nutritional profile than new canola oils, because the omega-3s in canola oil were kept low in order to add more omega-9 fatty acids. According to Thomas Brenna, a Human Nutrition professor at the University of Texas, while omega-9 fats are anti-inflammatory, it’s important that omega-3 + omega-6 fats are in the right proportion with each other, and an imbalance leads directly to more inflammation. Either way, Brenna believes that both of these options are still better than PHOs.
Remember that while new products may be trans-fat free, fried snacks, baked goods, and French fries are still foods that should be consumed only on occasion.
By Lisa Andrews, Med, RD, LD | Copyright foodandhealth.com, reprinted with permission
I hope you found that useful, friends!
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