As Food Manufacturers Seek to Replace Trans Fat from Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil Sources, Palm Oil Emerges as a Solution; Facilities in New Orleans and in Channahon, IL, Will Increase Availability of Palm Oil Supply in U.S.
Channahon, IL, May 20, 2004 - Loders Croklaan, part of the IOI Group (KLSE: IOICORP), today announced the expansion of its U.S. palm oil processing facility in Channahon, IL, as well as a major increase of its major storage capability in New Orleans, LA.
The moves are designed to meet the increased demand for palm oil as a solution for food manufacturers looking to eliminate trans fats from hydrogenated vegetable oil sources from their products. Loders Croklaan will now have the capability to produce up to 250,000 tons of palm oil in the company's Channahon plant.
Just this week, the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CPSI) petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prohibit the use of partially hydrogenated oil as a food ingredient http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/trans_fat_petition.pdf. CPSI also launched a grassroots campaign and a web site http://www.transfreeamerica.org to encourage food manufacturers to reformulate their products and eliminate trans fats. Although small amounts occur naturally in beef and dairy products, the FDA estimates that 80 percent of the trans fat in Americans' diets comes from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Trans fat has been found to increase "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood and significantly increase the risk of heart disease - more so than saturates.
"Manufacturers are seeking healthier alternatives to trans fat, which provide foods with taste and texture. Palm oil is a zero-trans fat, zero-hydrogenated solution," said Mark Weyland, product manager for palm, Loders Croklaan. "This major investment links Loders Croklaan's vast supply of palm from its plantations in Malaysia to the U.S. market. It substantially increases availability and drastically reduces shipping time to the marketplace. We look forward to providing palm oil as a trans and hydrogenated fat replacement solution to U.S. food processing companies of all sizes."
Food manufacturers are under increased pressure to find alternative ways to maintain the flavor and texture that trans fats provide in foods such as cookies, crackers, commercial breads and pastries, frozen prepared foods, fried fast foods, soups and sauces, and stick margarine -- essentially anything that contains partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient. This is also accelerated by the Food and Drug Administration's trans fat labeling deadline of January 1, 2006.
About Loders Croklaan
With more than 100 years of expertise, Loders Croklaan is a leading and innovative producer oils and fats for the food and health industry. The company's mission is to understand the needs and market opportunities of its customers worldwide and to be the first to deliver first-rate lipid-based solutions. A division of the IOI Group, Loders Croklaan aims to be the most professional business partner in the industry by continually improving our products and services to its customers.
About IOI Group
The IOI Group (KLSE: IOICORP) is one of the largest listed companies in Malaysia, with several divisions: IOI Corporation Berhad (plantations), IOI Properties Berhad (property development), Palmco Holdings Berhad (industrial products). The IOI Group has over 10,000 employees, mainly working on the plantations in Malaysia, with its head office in Puchong, near Kuala Lumpur. Plantation is the Group's core business, with over 100,000 hectares of plantations cultivated mainly with oil palm and rubber; oil palm accounted for about 97% of the total planted area.