2005 Key for NuSun
Saturday, January 15, 2005
filed under: Utilization/Trade: NuSun
Key happenings in 2005 figure to boost the marketability of NuSun„§ sunflower oil. And with pieces of the demand puzzle falling into place, the industry now needs to build acres and supply to feed this demand.
NuSun sunflower oil research conducted at Penn State University by Dr. Penny Kris-
Etherton was recently accepted for publication by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The Penn State research compared feeding diets with NuSun, olive oil and the average American diet. Once the research is published sometime in 2005, the author, the National Sunflower Association, and others will be able to refer to and promote the results of this landmark study.
Initial results of the nutritional study indicate that NuSun compares favorably with olive oil for health benefits, and even better in some respects, as a NuSun diet was shown to lower cholesterol levels. More information about NuSun dietary research can be found on the NSA¡¦s web site, www.sunflowernsa.com
A new food label rule on trans fats is also supportive to NuSun. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stipulated that all food labels must list trans fat by January 2006. Trans Fat will be listed on a separate line in the Nutrition Facts Panel, underneath Saturated Fat. Products with less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving can be labeled as zero trans fat. Canada is adopting a similar rule in 2006, and companies in both countries are acting now to reformulate products and labels, with some food manufacturers shifting to trans free oils.
Trans fats, recognized as a contributing factor with some health problems, are produced when a vegetable oil is partially hydrogenated. Certain oils must go through this process when used in frying and baking. Hydrogenated soybean oil has been the most common product used by the industry. Some health advocacy groups have petitioned the U.S. FDA to go so far as to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from food products, and require that restaurants inform
customers if these type of vegetable oils are being used.
It is not likely that the FDA will ban trans fats in the near future, but this kind of discussion puts considerable fear in the U.S. food industry. One of the strongest arguments the U.S. food industry has in opposing such a potential mandate is that there is not a sufficient amount of alternative oil available, says Larry Kleingartner, executive director of the NSA. Continued pressure on the food industry does provide excellent market opportunities for NuSun and high oleic sunflower oil. Neither of these oils need to be partially hydrogenated when used in a frying medium. NuSun and high oleic sunflower provides further attractiveness to some users since it is not genetically-engineered.
The NSA ¡V funded in part through sunflower checkoff dollars ¡V is increasing awareness of NuSun among health and foodservice professionals, food manufacturers, and other vegetable oil users across the U.S., through educational displays and briefings at industry trade shows, one-on-one meetings, cooking oil samples, and print and online materials.
NuSun continues to attract industrial users and leading food manufacturers, including Frito-Lay (using NuSun in its Natural line of snacks) and Pepperidge Farms (which uses NuSun in one of its well-known cheesy fish-shaped cracker snacks).
Another product example is Crisco: the makers of Crisco last year began marketing a new zero grams trans fat shortening. Sunflower oil is listed first on the ingredient panel, indicating it is the primary oil. According to the manufacturer, the 0 grams trans fat per serving shortening option ¡§delivers the same great performance in frying and baking that cooks have come to expect from standard Crisco shortening.¡¨ ¡V Tracy Sayler