FDA Announced Trans Fat Labeling Required
BISMARCK, N.D., July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today that it will require food manufacturers to list trans fat on Nutrition Facts panels. These regulations follow a report by the National Academy of Sciences, released last fall, which recommended limiting trans fat in the diet as much as possible. A newly developed variety of sunflower oil, called NuSun(TM), now can provide manufacturers with a unique, naturally trans-free alternative that delivers optimal health benefits, great taste, and performance characteristics needed for commercial use and the demands of frying.
NuSun(TM) is a mid-oleic sunflower oil that contains over 90% unsaturated fat (approximately 65% monounsaturated fat and 26% polyunsaturated fat) and less than 10% saturated fat. This optimal balance of fat is consistent with current dietary fat recommendations.
Recently, results from a human clinical trial with NuSun(TM) were released at the 2003 Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego. Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University compared healthful diets with either NuSun(TM) sunflower oil or olive oil to the average American diet. Substituting two tablespoons of NuSun(TM) sunflower oil daily in place of saturated fat had a significantly better cholesterol-lowering effect than substituting a similar amount of olive oil. Moreover, the greater total and LDL cholesterol-lowering effect of the NuSun(TM) oil diet could be explained by the balance of adequate amounts of polyunsaturated fat, which is important for lowering cholesterol.
NuSun(TM) sunflower oil has already been embraced by cutting-edge manufacturers, such as Frito-Lay, who announced earlier this year that their new natural and organic line of chips will exclusively use NuSun(TM) sunflower oil. More recently, Frito-Lay announced that their SunChips(R) will also be made with NuSun(TM), as it meets their newly established healthy standards for oils -- elimination of trans fat and lower saturated fat.
In addition, Brigham and Women's Hospital, a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, began to use NuSun(TM) sunflower oil last year in its food service operations. According to Kathy McManus, director of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital, "We had been searching for a trans-free oil that could also stand up to the demands of our kitchen. NuSun(TM) passed both tests, plus our patients and their families love the taste."
In less than a decade, the sunflower industry has created NuSun(TM) sunflower oil through standard breeding techniques with no use of genetic modification. The unique fat profile of NuSun(TM) sunflower oil provides industrial cooking capabilities needed to produce tasty, high-quality food products, without partial hydrogenation, which adds harmful trans fat. Because of its natural stability, NuSun(TM) sunflower oil performs extremely well in commercial cooking and frying, with a smoke point of 450 degrees, a clean light taste, and excellent shelf-life characteristics -- all of the necessary characteristics for today's manufacturers.
The National Sunflower Association is a non-profit commodity organization of sunflower growers and sunflower industry members dedicated to research, education and promotion. For further information, visit www.sunflowernsa.com.