Oils and Fats News June 2016

Oils and Fats News

June 2016

Laurence Eyres FNZIFST

AGM and elections

At the most enjoyable dinner and AGM held at the Northern Club on the 16th May, the present committee were re-elected. Encouragement was given for people to attend the forthcoming conference in November 2016 in Nelson.

Lipid conference latest

See the advert and registration details in this issue of NZ food


NZ oils

or this website

MCPD update


 These are glycerol-based process contaminants found in palm oil, but also in other vegetable oils, margarines and some processed foods, raise potential health concerns for average consumers of these foods in all young age groups, and for high consumers in all age groups.

EFSA assessed the risks for public health of the substances: glycidyl fatty acid esters (GE), 3-monochloropropanediol (3-MCPD), and 2-monochloropropanediol (2-MCPD) and their fatty acid esters. The substances form during food processing, in particular, when refining vegetable oils at high temperatures (approx. 200°C).

The highest levels of GE, as well as 3-MCPD and 2-MCPD (including esters) were found in palm oils and palm fats, followed by other oils and fats. For consumers aged three and above, margarines and ‘pastries and cakes’ were the main sources of exposure to all substances.

EFSA’s expert Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) considered information on the toxicity of glycidol (the parent compound of GE) for its risk assessment of GE, assuming a complete conversion of the esters into glycidol following ingestion.

The Panel’s review revealed that levels of GE in palm oils and fats halved between 2010 and 2015, due to voluntary measures taken by producers. This has contributed to an important fall in consumer exposure to these substances.

Exposure to 3-MCPD over safe level; insufficient data on 2-MCPD

“EFSA have set a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.8 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day (µg/kg bw/day) for 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters based on evidence linking this substance to organ damage in animal tests. Estimated average and high exposures to 3-MCPD from both forms for young age groups including adolescents (up to 18 years of age) exceed the TDI and are a potential concern for health.


This risk assessment will inform risk managers in the European Commission and Member States who regulate EU food safety. They will use EFSA’s scientific advice to consider how to manage the potential risks for consumers from exposure to these substances in food. The Panel has also made several recommendations for further research to fill data gaps and improve the knowledge on the toxicity of these substances, particularly 2-MCPD, and on consumer exposure to them through food

NB Dr. Betrand Matthaeus a key researcher in this field will speak at the Nelson conference

Scientific opinion on risks for human health related to the presence of 3- and 2-monochloropropanediol (MCPD), and their fatty acid esters, and glycidyl fatty acid esters in food


Saturated fat, coconut oil and Inform magazine


There was a recent article in Inform magazine (April) which unfortunately seems to rely more on unsubstantiated and anecdotal reports rather than on scientific peer reviewed literature and concludes that coconut oil is a healthy oil. Correspondence has commenced with the reviewer. Meanwhile coconut oil continues to grow in popularity but that is fine so long as people do not make false health claims. The oil is water white, very resistant to oxidation and is bland in taste. It is however subject to hydrolytic rancidity which can be a problem in flour confectionery and breakfast cereals. It is also incompatible with cocoa butter so can cause chocolate to bloom.

Olive oil on 60 minutes


This publication has harped on for years about fraudulent and poor quality olive oil coming into New Zealand. Now the TV programme 60 minutes has carried out an in depth investigation and has conclude that the Mafia is behind most of the fraudulent practices in this lucrative business.

The vast majority of imported “extra virgin olive oil” in Australian supermarkets fails to meet local and international standards, renewing concerns shoppers are paying a premium for inferior products. Tests of 27 imported bottles sold at Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and Foodland revealed 85% failed to meet the voluntary Australian Standard and 78% failed to meet the International Olive Council (IOC) Standard.

Acting on this continuing issue, the Australian Olive Association has launched a Change.Org online petition to let the government know that consumers really do care about truth in labelling, and want to get what they pay for. The petition calls for the Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs to make the existing – currently voluntary – Australian Standard for Olive Oil and Olive Pomace Oil(AS5264-2011) law, ensuring that lower grades of olive oil are labelled according to their actual quality and not as EVOO.

Olive Oil Times

If only we could get some action in New Zealand!

Paper at NZIFST conference Rotorua July 2016

This author is going to attempt to review the deterioration of fat in foods due to oxidation and hydrolysis, and its prevention and analysis with a view to extending shelf life.

Omega-3 seminar in Sydney

This will take place in Sydney on September 14th 2016.

Full details will emerge in the near future.

Omega-3 Centre: Home

Omega 3 Centre

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