Oils and Fats News January 2016

Oils and Fats News January 2016

Laurence Eyres FNZIFST


Lipid Seminar Nelson

NZ oils

Plans are developing for this focused seminar to take place on November 8-10th 2016 in Nelson. One of our guest speakers will be Dr. Bertrand Matthäus who will speak on both the issue of MCPD esters in oils and also about the growing popularity of virgin canola oil in Europe. He will also be able to summarize any highlights from the conference below.

For the Lipid Seminar in November, updates and speakers will be posted on the website and reported on periodically in the newsletter.

Olive Oil Authenticity


Dr. Matthäus is currently a co-organiser of the DGF-Symposium:
“Authenticity of Olive Oil and other Vegetable Oils” to be held in Nuremberg, Germany in April of this year. For details of this seminar see:
In addition to the quality assessment of olive oil and other vegetable oils, the need for authentication is of major concern for consumers and the food industry. The aim of oil authentication is to protect the consumer from adulteration and the industry from unfair competition.

Olive oil is the only oil in commerce for which a legal framework exists with many official methods to characterize the oil quality. The Australian standard was introduced to give more control to legislators and food businesses than the traditional loose IOC standard. For all other oils only national or international standard quality specifications are available in the Codex Alimentarius

It is widely accepted that there is a strong need for the harmonization and validation of methods to face the problems concerning the authenticity confirmation of olive oils and other high price vegetable oils.
“Issues to be discussed include:
1) The blend of extra-virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil with soft deodorized olive oil,
2) The blend of extra-virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil with other vegetable oils. Beyond the case of olive oil, there is also a strong need for better coordination of research in the area of food authenticity, integrity and traceability across the food supply chain between Member States and Associated Countries”.

This symposium will present new and fast methods to proof the quality and authenticity of olive oil and other edible oils and the participants will have the chance to discuss with outstanding experts the different aspects in the field of authenticity.  This symposium is aimed at all people working as legal key opinion leaders in official and commercial laboratories in government and industry.

Olive Oil Fraud


A massive fraud was unmasked between Brindisi and Bari in Italy by the State Forestry Corps and the District Anti-Mafia Directorate (DDA) of Bari, which discovered that 7,000 tons of olive oil sold as ‘100% Italian’ extra virgin olive oil were actually blended oils from non-EU countries such as Syria, Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia. The research team established the geographical origin of the olive oil through molecular analysis made possible through an innovative technique of DNA extraction.

The results of the analysis, crossed with those on traceability derived from computer records, allowed investigators to ensure that the thousands of tons of olive oil were not Italian but obtained from non-European olive varieties.

Olive oil fraud has also been the subject of 60 minutes on USA television, as reported by Patrick Donnelly, the CEO of AOCS.

60 Minutes ran a story entitled AgroMafia, on the Italian mafia’s involvement in the agricultural sector. This story emphasized the widespread adulteration of products sold as “Italian extra virgin olive oil.”  In a follow up online segment, 60 Minutes also posted a short piece on How to Buy Olive Oil.

AOCS has been working with the extra virgin olive oil industry in support of ensuring product quality. Recently, AOCS and the Extra Virgin Alliance™ published Olive Oil: A Field Guide. This is a handy “pocket guide” to olive oil quality, presenting authoritative and unbiased information in a user-friendly format, featuring full-colour photos and illustrations. This reference is ideal for chefs, consumers, food professionals–anyone who wants accurate, understandable, and useful information about olive oil.  The field guide retails for $9.95 ($7.95 for AOCS members). You can get your copy of Olive Oil: A Field Guide at

If you want to view the 60 Minutes stories on olive oil go to


High Oleic Acid Oils

Replacement of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and to some extent palm olein has taken place over the last 20 years with high oleic acid oils from sunflower, safflower, and canola which are mainly used in food applications. The genetic changes to fatty acid composition in these oilseeds were produced using conventional breeding techniques. High oleic soybean oils, developed through transgenic technology, are still in the pilot production awaiting global regulatory approval. High oleic canola oils dominate with >90% share of the global  high oleic oil market due to its clean flavour, lowest saturated fat content, high yields and relative low cost.

All Trans Monoene Fats adversely affect LDL levels

Adverse effects of industrially produced trans fatty acids (iTFAs) on the risk of coronary artery disease are well documented in the scientific literature; however, effects of naturally occurring trans fatty acids (TFAs) from ruminant animals (rTFA), such as vaccenic acid (VA) and cis-9,trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid (c9,t11-CLA), are less clear. A recent study showed that vaccenic acid (trans 11-octadecanoic acid) from ruminant fats had the same effects as from partially hydrogenated oils. CLA did not have an adverse effect.

However the levels of total trans in ruminant fats is <4.5% so the levels of vaccenic acid in normal Australasian diets is very low and probably of little concern. Nutritional labelling of total monoene trans fats is therefore justified.

Sarah K Gebauer, Frédéric Destaillats, Fabiola Dionisi, Ronald M Krauss, and David J Baer, American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 2015.

New Zealand Fish Oils Study Follow-Up – Oils Do Meet Claims and are NOT Heavily Oxidized


 A summary by Dr.Peter Nichols, Senior Principal Research Scientist
CSIRO Food, Nutrition & Bioproducts; Oceans and Atmosphere

In January 2015 a study by Albert et al. on New Zealand encapsulated fish oils led by the University of Auckland was published in Nature Scientific Reports (NSR). The New Zealand study indicated many fish oil capsule products were generally not meeting label claims for EPA+DHA and were heavily oxidized.

The article attracted much attention and many Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) scientists, scientific societies, industry and individuals have expressed concern. This included the Australasian Section AOCS Symposium held in September 2015.  The Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA) of Australia, one of the leading national analytical facilities, and a range of other groups noted that the study used non-standard methods. Contrary to many other studies by a wide range of groups that have been published, and which were not cited by the authors of the NSR paper, it has been observed that ANZ products generally do meet claims and are not heavily oxidized. Since the Albert et al. paper was published, more recent analyses conducted by various parties, including the TGA also further confirm that the ANZ products generally do meet claims and are not heavily oxidized.

The attached brief article was prepared by the Omega-3 Centre (O3C) to update various groups and individuals and was recently published on the Australasian Section of the American Oil Chemists Society (AAOCS) website ( . There is also a direct link to the article at the AAOCS website - . As noted above and as the on-line AAOCS article indicates, with further details provided, many scientists were astounded by the New Zealand fish paper published in Nature Scientific Reports. Methods issues were generally thought to be the more likely cause of the published New Zealand fish oils results. On the methods topic, the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED), in cooperation with the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), has prepared the White paper - for members. The GOED white paper is also attached which was published to counter widespread confusion on the oxidation topic (analysis and effects of additives). This is clearly evident in the New Zealand led study, and highlights the key points that GOED members and their customers need to know about oxidation of omega-3 oils, including which tests are accurate and meaningful.

Professor Philip Calder from Southampton University will be giving a keynote talk at the Nelson seminar on the whole topic of omega-3 and human nutrition.






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