Oils and Fats News October 2015

Oils and Fats News

October 2015

Laurence Eyres FNZIFST

AAOCS seminar in Geelong, September 8-11


This was a well organised, enjoyable event at the Pier in Geelong which was a lovely place for a conference and with great weather too. Dr. Matt Miller of Cawthron Institute and his committee put together a stimulating and topical programme of talks and workshops that delegates found extremely worthwhile. AAOCS will be summarizing the whole conference and putting as many PDF files as are submitted on to the website. Here are some highlights for me. The first one was the AAOCS award talk by Professor Andrew Sinclair. This was a fascinating history of almost 50 years of nutritional/food science experiences with all manner of nutritional gurus in the USA, Canada and the UK. The other was by professor Tom Sanders, who has written authoritatively on dietary fat and cardiovascular disease over many years.

His summation was that despite there being no direct correlation between total saturated fat acid intake and heart disease, replacing saturated fat with unsaturated oils still results in a lowering of risk. The two most important and consistent biomarkers are LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. The replacement of fat with carbohydrates has been of nil or negative benefit and in fact healthy diets such as the Mediterranean style diet may contain up to 47% energy as fat (unsaturated oil).

Dr Peter Nichols of CSIRO gave a detailed description of the techniques and care needed in analysing omega-3 fatty acids. With regard to the recent controversial and disputed University of Auckland paper on dietary supplements, Dr Nichols commented that recent surveys including analyses from certified laboratories showed that commercial samples in Australia and New Zealand met label claims for omega-3 content and were not highly oxidised. GOED had analysed 47 NZ samples and found all complied.

There was a very interesting paper from Dr Karen Murphy around a randomised controlled intervention trial evaluating the efficacy of a Mediterranean dietary pattern on cognitive function and psychological wellbeing in healthy older adults, which showed encouraging results. Research in this vital area is continuing.

Reference :BMC Geriatr. 2015 Apr 28;15:55. doi: 10.1186/s12877-015-0054-8.

Proposed Seminar in 2016

Following a very useful discussion at the AAOCS AGM at Geelong, the Oils and Fats group has some initial thoughts about having a seminar on “Lipids and Nutraceuticals throughout the Life Cycle”, in Nelson in November 2016. Expressions of interest gratefully accepted.

The next biannual full meeting of the AAOCS will take place in Australia in 2017.


 Inform magazine snippet

Two researchers are urging the government to eliminate restrictions on total fat intake in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. “Modern evidence clearly shows that eating more foods rich in healthful fats like nuts, vegetable oils, and fish have protective effects … while many low-fat foods, like low-fat deli meats, fat-free salad dressing, and baked potato chips, are no better and often even worse than full-fat alternatives.

The paper, published in JAMA is written by the well respected Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian from the Friedman School of Nutritional Science & Policy at Tufts University and Dr. David Ludwig from the Boston Children’s Hospital.


Australian Olive exports to turn around

Australian olive oil production is up, around 22 million litres this year compared to just 15 million litres in 2014, but exports overall were down by close to 9%. The tide is already turning for olive oil exporters though, with the AUD hovering around the US 70c mark, and the wealthier portion of Asian consumers eagerly seeking out high quality authentic Australian olive oil because of the health benefits.

Smaller growers tend to have good niche overseas markets where they get better prices for their olive oil, according to the association. Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and New Zealand were examples of markets that saw a sharp rise in exports, while traditional markets such as Italy and Spain remained static or declined. Malaysian exports went from 9 tonnes to 41 tonnes in 2015, Singapore from 7 to 32, and Canada saw a 363% increase, taking 109 tonnes of Australian olive oil up from 23 in 2014, making it the 7th largest importer overall.


New Zealand imported 587 tonnes; making it the fourth largest market for olive oil exports, this is a larger volume than NZ production. Italy and Spain took the bulk of exports, even if less than previous years, at 1,423 and 1,036 tonnes respectively. China came in at number 3, with 639 tonnes and the USA was number five taking 263 tonnes.


NZ Olive Easter Show results

The Auckland Agricultural and Pastoral Association were delighted to announce the winners of the 2015 Royal Easter Show Olive Oil Awards. The Logan Campbell Trophy and the award for Supreme Champion oil for 2015, for the second year in a row, unprecedented in the history of the competition, go to the team at Man O’War Olive Groves, Waiheke Island, for their Frantoio / Leccino /Koroneiki blend. Entries this year, though down in numbers as a consequence of many groves experiencing a low-yield year, were once again of a high standard and the judges awarded 23 medals in all: 2 Gold medals, 13 Silver and 8 Bronze. Judged on August 25th, the Royal Easter Show Olive Oil Awards is a consumer-focussed national competition featuring extra virgin oil from olives grown and processed in New Zealand.

The organizer Mike Cundy is very pleased with the ongoing popularity of the Easter Show awards.

Additional reported benefits from Olive Oil

Following a Mediterranean diet supplemented with four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil was associated with a 68% reduction in the risk of developing breast cancer among older women, according to a five-year study by researchers at the University of Navarra in Spain.

JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 14, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.4838


EPA and gut health

New research shows that dietary fats impact gut bacteria – some for the better (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs) and some for the worse (omega-6 PUFAs). The omega-3s EPA and DHA found in seafood and marine oils may reduce inflammation and increase beneficial microorganisms to protect against gastrointestinal (GI) diseases. These findings were presented at the 11th Congress of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) in Stockholm 1 July, 2014.

Research shows that dietary choices and certain microorganisms in the GI tract can contribute to the prevention or development of inflammatory bowel disease, colitis (inflammation of the colon) and Crohn’s disease. PUFAs in particular affect microbes living in the intestine known as “gut microbiota.”




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