Oils and Fats News March 2013

Toxic Oil by David Gillespie


This is a new book written by Australian author David Gillespie who blew the whistle on sugar and its ills. The author is a non-scientist but a lawyer and he has become a self appointed guardian of consumer nutrition. His new book is full of hyperbole and poorly researched facts; however there is a kernel of truth in his proposition. His premise is that polyunsaturated fats are killing us by causing cancer and atherosclerosis and that we should all revert back to animal and other saturated fats.

I think there is a point around consuming too much omega-6 fats and not enough omega-3 and certainly, polyunsaturated fats were meant to be consumed cold and not heat abused in frying or subjected to light degradation. Readers should have a look at the book and come to their own conclusions. I was proud of myself having downloaded it onto a Kindle.

Lecithin and brain lipids

Krill oil is meant to be efficacious because it contains omega-3 bonded to phospholipids.  Phospholipids have been reported to be beneficial for brain nutrition for many years now. Phosphatidyl choline (in soybean lecithin) has long been touted for this as a dietary supplement. Recent work has centred on phosphatidyl serine for the retention of cognition in the elderly. Note that krill does not contain serine and is mainly choline. Phospholipids are found naturally in the diet in seafood, buttermilk powder and vegetable lecithins

Omega-3 and krill oil-response letter

RE: The January Issue of Oils and Fats News; “When did humans decide consuming whale food was a good idea?” We received a letter from Kevin Krail an oils and fats group member.

“I wanted to respond to your story on the Krill harvests in the Southern Ocean. I represent The Omega-3 Centre, an Australia/New Zealand specialty healthcare association that promotes the “good science” and health benefits for Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Our membership is diverse and includes omega-3 ingredient suppliers, consumer products companies, academic institutions, government agencies and individual members.

I realise that there is controversy about the issue of harvesting Krill (Euphausia superba) as a protein and O-3 oil source as it is the primary nutrient for whales and penguins in the Antarctic region. But we need to look to the responsible governments, institutions and companies that are operating in this area.

The former Soviet Union began commercial fishing of krill in the Southern ocean in the late 1960’s. In 1982, a whole host of regulations were set by both governments and a consortium agency set up to look after the Antarctic marine environment; the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Living Resources (CCAMLR). The CCAMLR is headquartered in Hobart Tasmania. It monitors all activities in the region and it has repeatedly stated that the annual Krill harvests are well within the limits that have been set by the Convention.

As you and your readers would know, there is a large nutritional “gap” between the amount of LC Omega-3’s the consuming public should be eating and what they actually take in. General recommendations are that each of us should be getting at least 500mg EPA and DHA per day. Most Aussies and Kiwis are getting no more than 100mg per day- quite a gap! This nutritional gap is contributing to a vast array of western degenerative diseases; cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease and mental illness. Scientists, clinicians and even many governments agree that we should be getting more Omega-3’s in our diet. And where will all the LC O-3’s come from?”

Kevin Krail: The Omega-3 Centre.

The Lovely Hill: Where People Live Longer and Happier

In one idyllic community in southern California, Adventists live 4 to 7 years longer — and more healthily and happily — than the rest of the country. A look at their diet, lifestyle, and philosophy


Many Seventh-Day Adventists are vegetarians, physically active, and involved in their community. In other words, their lifestyles are quite unique in an America where community has become less and less important and over one third of the population is obese. Smoking and drinking are discouraged by the faith, as is the consumption of caffeine, rich foods, and certain spices. This reviewer just shuddered and thought this lifestyle was not for him – no coffee!

What are the Adventists doing differently from the rest of us? Beyond their conservative lifestyle and commitment to faith — research shows that attending religious services regularly is associated with greater longevity and happiness — there is also the matter of what they eat, which is a mostly Mediterranean diet. The health benefits of eating Mediterranean foods have been well documented. People whose diets incorporate a healthy serving of fresh vegetables, olive oil, fish, whole grains, and fruit are at lower risk for heart disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death in the United States. They are also at lower risk for diabetes and Alzheimer’s. They are better able to control their weight and cholesterol levels; they tend to be more alert; they exhibit less depressive symptoms; and they may live longer.

Because of their unique lifestyle, scientists from a variety of organizations like the National Health Institute and the American Cancer Society have since 1958 been studying how the community’s dietary habits, lifestyle, disease rates, and mortality interact in a series of studies known as the Adventist Health Studies. What they have found in the decades since is remarkable.

The death rate from cancer for Adventist men is 60 percent lower than that of the average California male; for Adventist women, it is 75 percent lower. According to Loma Linda University, ground zero in the Adventist Health Studies, “Death from coronary heart disease among Adventist men was 66 percent [lower compared to their California peers]; for Adventist women, it was 98 percent [lower]. Stroke death rates for Adventist men were 72 percent [lower], compared to their non-Adventist counterparts. For Adventist women, death from stroke was 82 percent [lower].”

Cold pressed oils and their suitability for continuous deep-frying

The term “cold pressed oils” is normally applied to gourmet or boutique oils such as the fruit oils, olive and avocado, nut oils such as hazelnut and walnut and seed oils such as sunflower, canola and safflower.

Cold pressing normally means < 50 degrees.

These oils are defined as those obtained without the involvement of chemicals and without altering the nature of the oil.  Extraction is carried out at less than 50°C) and subsequent purification by only water washing, settling, filtration and centrifugation.  Application of excessive heating leads to destruction of items such as chlorophyll and other pigments.  As a result cold pressed oils reflect the quality of the starting material.  They normally have acid values greater than 0.5 and peroxide values greater than two. They also contain material such as gums which are of no issue when used cold but become a problem when used in deep frying.  They are probably OK for once-use shallow pan frying.

For continuous deep frying, when one is using nutritionally balanced oil, the major criteria are purity, stability and cost.  The process of refining, bleaching and deodorising removes virtually all gums, impurities and the acidity and peroxides from the oil.  This usually results in clear yellow oil that has been tested for its stability using equipment such as the rancimat.  The best way to ascertain the suitability of oil for deep frying is by testing it in practice, monitoring the rate of breakdown of oxidation products.  The NZ canola oil produced in the South Island is cold pressed but is then refined, bleached and deodorised to make it suitable for deep frying.  Low acidity, low peroxide values and the absence of impurities are the key criteria.

Highly unsaturated oils are also not suitable for continuous deep fat frying due to their tendency to form polymers and breakdown products.

Conclusion: Cold pressed oils are generally unsuitable for commercial deep frying due to their lack of stability.
Laurence Eyres FNZIFST

Leave a Reply