Oils and Fats News August 2011

AGM and the New Committee

A convivial, yet somewhat formal annual dinner was held at the Northern Club. After generous servings of wine the AGM voted in the existing Chairman and committee for another year.  We welcome Anny Dentener as a new committee member.

Note our new website address: www.oilsfats.org

The New Australian Standard for Olive Oil

Publication Number            :            AS 5264-2011
Title:                                        Olive Oils and Olive-Pomace Oils
Publishing Date:               20th July 2011

The Australian Olive Association welcomed the standards, with President Paul Miller saying it was a significant leap forward for the industry.

“Ultimately consumers win because they will be able to purchase product that is exactly what it claims to be.  The standard promotes and protects authentic products and puts consumers in a much stronger position when it comes to making informed decisions.”

Miller said the voluntary changes were a “game changer” for the entire supply chain and were a world first.

“Words like ‘pure’ and ‘light’, which really never meant anything should no longer appear.”

There will also be a crackdown on vague labelling, with required substantiation on the country of origin, processing methods, and best before claims.

Standards Australia also plans to unambiguously define what is meant by ‘extra virgin’ olive oil. It is unfortunate that Standards New Zealand was misguided and ill-advised and opted out of adopting the new standard. This is disappointing for the NZ consumers and nutritionists.

Palm Oil Labelling

Another knee-jerk reaction due to undue pressure from extremists which will cause increase costs to all consumers. Politicians just love using the Food Laws to bring in political change which should be effected by other means.  FSANZ will now have its staff and resources tied up doing this non-value adding work rather than working on meaningful projects for the good of the consumer.  Australian senators have passed an amendment that requires palm oil-containing products to be labelled as such rather than generically called vegetable oil. The Australian Food and Grocery Council opposed the bill, citing costs.

 International Business Times (6/26)

New Form of Cholesterol Discovered

Scientists from the University of Warwick have discovered why a newly found form of cholesterol seems to be ‘ultra-bad’, leading to increased risk of heart disease. The discovery could lead to new treatments to prevent heart disease particularly in people with type-2 diabetes and the elderly.

The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), found that ‘ultra bad’ cholesterol, called MGmin-low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is more common in people with type-2 diabetes and the elderly, appears to be ‘stickier’ than normal LDL. This makes it more likely to attach to the walls of arteries. When LDL attaches to artery walls it helps form the dangerous ‘fatty plaques’ that cause coronary heart disease (CHD).

The research was published in the journal Diabetes.

Omega-3 and Stiffness of Arteries

According to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition, analysis of data from ten clinical trials revealed that omega-3 fatty acids were associated with an improvement of both pulse wave velocity and arterial compliance, both of which are measures of the stiffness of arteries.

“The findings of the present study reveal that supplementation with omega-3 offers a scientifically supported means of reducing arterial stiffness,” wrote researchers from the NICM Centre for Study of Natural Medicines and Neurocognition in Australia.

“Reduction in arterial stiffness by n-3 may account for some of its purported cardioprotective effects.”

Despite such benefits there are still problems with ensuring adequate omega-3 intakes from fatty fish. This has led to a fleet of omega-3-rich concentrates becoming available. Projections by Frost & Sullivan set annual growth for the omega-3 market at an impressive 24 per cent, and the market is estimated to be worth $1.6bn by 2014.

EPA Benefits Bowel Cancer

In a UK paper an article has stated that more than three quarters of women are living in ignorance of bowel cancer, a cancer that is more prevalent than both ovarian and cervical cancer put together. The report, published in the journal GUT, gives a clear indication that Omega 3 EPA may indeed be a breakthrough treatment.  The authors recommend 2g per day of EPA.

This purified form of omega 3 EPA cuts the number and size of precancerous bowel growths (polyps) in people whose genetic make-up predisposes them to bowel cancer. Furthermore EPA seems to be as effective as the prescription medicine used to treat familial bowel polyps, but without the associated cardiovascular side effects.

The researchers base their findings on 55 patients, all of whom had the inherited genetic mutation that prompts the development of precancerous polyps in the bowel – known as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, or FAP for short.

EPA concentrates can be sourced from several companies such as Equateq in UK.

Pardon, what did you say?

Increased intakes of antioxidants and vitamins A and E may significantly reduce the risk of hearing loss, according to a new study from Australia.

People with the highest average intakes of vitamin A had a 47 percent reduced risk of moderate or greater hearing loss, compared to people with the lowest average intakes, scientists from the University of Sydney report in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.

For the new study, the Australian scientists analyzed data from 2,956 people participating in the Blue Mountains Hearing Study. Dietary intakes of a range of antioxidants, including alpha- and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin,  lutein,  zeaxanthin,  lycopene, vitamins A, C and E, and iron and zinc, were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire.

One interesting antioxidant is astaxanthin, the carotenoid responsible for the pink colour of salmon. A major source is Hawaii. There is a great deal of research emerging on the beneficial effect of this compound. It may also act as an effective antioxidant with fish oil in vitro.

 Dairy Lipids Help for the Over 40’s

Memory problems associated with chronic stress may be eased by phospholipids derived from milk, suggests a new study.

Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial indicated that ‘chronically stressed men’ who received a daily phospholipid supplement had “significant[ly] better memory performance” than men receiving placebo.

According to the American Psychological Association , stress can affect everyone at some time, and can lead to both mental and physical health issues.

While some stress can be beneficial, extreme and long-term stress can produce detrimental effects to the “immune, cardiovascular, neuroendocrine and central nervous systems”, adds the APA.

For the new study, the researchers recruited 75 chronically stressed men aged between 30 and 51, and randomly assigned them to receive cow’s milk with 0.5 or 1 percent phospholipids, or a placebo for six weeks. Phospholipids are the predominant lipids found in the cell membranes. There is a lot of interest in phospholipids (from soybean it is termed lecithin) and an Israeli company have chemically combined omega-3 with the phospholipid molecule. This simulates the natural form of lipids found in krill.

A New Book Published by AOCS

Omega-3 Oils: Applications in Functional Foods, editors Ernesto M. Hernandez and Masashi Hosokawa
I will be reviewing this book for AOCS in the near future

Candlenut Oil (Kukui Nut)

On a recent trip to Hawaii (just skiting) we observed candlenut trees growing prolifically. The cold pressed oil from the nuts was used for hundreds of years by the native Hawaiians as a moisturiser and cosmetic oil. It contains 25% alpha linolenic acid.

Forthcoming Events

Functional Foods Seminar at UOA 30th November 2011.  http://www.functionalfoods2011.co.nz

Sessions for the symposium will include:

  • Setting the scene
  • Enhanced marketing and selling of your novel food product
  • Enhancing the opportunities for novel food development and uptake by the food industry and by consumers
  • Optimising health benefits in fruit, vegetables and derived components
  • Optimising health benefits in grains, cereals & dairy products

AAOCS Meeting in Adelaide, November 9-11, 2011

The conference program will cover nutritional research, omega 3 oils, marine lipids,

Dairy lipids, oxidation, biotechnology, animal lipids, aquaculture, edible oil and ingredient supply, olive oils, oil analysis and other activities that support the lipid industry and oils research. This year a hot topic session will focus on the new olive oil standards in Australia and New Zealand.  Two workshops will also be run:

  • Lipid Oxidation and Antioxidants
  •  Production of Margarines, Dairy Blends and Spreads
    (this workshop to be held at CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences, Werribee, Victoria will be held prior to the conference.

The program will be structured to allow delegates to meet colleagues in a social environment to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Please contact Dr. Matt Miller in New Zealand on +64 3 989 7633 or matt.miller@plantandfood.co.nz for more details.

AOCS Conference, April 2012

Note for people wanting to go to the USA with the strong NZ dollar, the next full AOCS conference is in Long Beach California, starting on 29 April 2012.
Laurence Eyres, FNZIFST

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