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Organic companies take the lead in alternatives to trans fats
GREENFIELD, Mass. (Dec. 20, 2005) — With consumers becoming increasingly more health-conscious, and the U.S. government revamping labeling laws and the suggested American diet, organic food producers continue to present unique choices with a new generation of alternative oils that are trans-fat free.
New labeling requirements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandate all manufacturers to list the amount of trans fats contained within their products, effective January 1, 2006. As consumers become more aware of concerns about partially hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats, they will be seeking alternatives whenever possible.
In January 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines call for keeping “trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible,” and suggest people “limit intake of fats and oils high in saturated and/or trans fatty acids, and choose products low in such fats and oils.”
Organic palm oil and expeller-pressed organic soy oil have emerged as solutions to the need for healthier baking fats essential for the textures and shelf life of many convenience foods. Leading organic companies are already successfully using these alternative fats.
“Organic producers and manufacturers continue to search for and develop ingredients that satisfy the consumer’s palate for delicious and healthy foods that also sustain the planet,” says Katherine DiMatteo, executive director for the Organic Trade Association. “Organic farming leads to quality products without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and organic processing maintains that integrity by using innovative practices that have set the standard for excellence.”
Palm oil is not palm kernel oil
In addition to its versatility in cooking, organic palm oil is also rich in antioxidants, such as beta carotene and vitamin E. An environmentally friendly crop, the perennial palm provides forest cover for 25 or more years. As a sequester of carbon dioxide, palm oil trees can be considered a carbon credit under the Kyoto Protocol.
Because of its association with tropical oils, palm oil has received a lot of negative press in recent years as being a completely saturated “bad” fat. But unlike palm kernel oil, which is derived from the palm seed and is highly saturated, palm oil comes from the palm fruit and is actually 50 percent saturated, 40 percent polyunsaturated, and 10 percent monounsaturated. Palm oil does not need to undergo hydrogenation, a process that produces trans fatty acids. Recent studies show that the main saturated fat in palm oil, palmitic acid, can actually lower blood cholesterol levels.
The versatility of organic soy oil
Organic soybeans can be expeller pressed and refined without the use of chemical solvents to produce a versatile cooking and baking oil. Expeller pressing of soybeans also releases naturally occurring tocopherols (antioxidants) in high concentration. Both palm oil and expeller-pressed soybean oil are viable replacements for products that have traditionally used hydrogenated oils containing harmful trans fats.
Also, the USDA organic seal guarantees that the food has been grown and processed without the use of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. In contrast, an estimated three-quarters of U.S. soybeans are genetically engineered, without being labeled as such in the marketplace.
As awareness and label consciousness grow in the mainstream aisles, consumers will continue to look to the organic industry as the innovator in healthy and delicious ingredients that are good for them and good for the planet.
Editor’s note: Attached is a list of Organic Trade Association members that sell/grow the organic products and ingredients mentioned in this release.
The mission of the Organic Trade Association is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy. OTA envisions organic products becoming a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people's lives and the environment. As a membership-based business association, the Organic Trade Association focuses on the organic business community in North America. OTA's nearly 1,600 members include farmers, processors, importers, exporters, distributors, retailers, certifiers, and more. For further information, visit OTA's web site at www.ota.com.
Organic Soy and Palm Oil Manufacturers and Distributors
American Health & Nutrition, Inc. www.organicharvest.com
Assured Organics www.assuredorganics.com
Beta Pure Foods www.betapure.com
Bianca International Organic (B.I.O.) www.biorganic.ca
Catania-Spagna Corporation www.cataniausa.com
Ceres Organic Harvest, Inc. www.ceresorganic.com
Ciranda Inc. www.ciranda.com
Daabon Organic U.S.A. Inc. www.daabon.com
Della Natura Commodities www.dellanatura.com
George’s Organics www.GeorgesOrganics.com
Jungle Products www.junglepi.com
Marroquin International Commodity Services, Inc.www.marroquin-organics.com
N2 Ingredients Inc. www.n2ingredients.com
Northland Organic Foods Corporation www.northlandorganic.com
Organic Planet www.organic-planet.com
S&D Aroma Ltd. www.sdaroma.com
SK Food International www.skfood.com
Spectrum Organic Products, Inc. www.spectrumorganic.com
Stengel Oil www.stengeloils.com
SunOpta Fruit Group www.organic-ingredients.com
SunRich, Inc. www.sunrich.com
Tradin Organics USA, Inc. www.tradinorganic.com
Tropical Traditions www.tropicaltraditions.com
World Wide Organics 509-493-4796
December 20, 2005
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