Unilever promotes its product with the words "for a healthy cardiovascular system" and "three times more omega-3 than olive oil".
But the only thing high about Becel oil, which retails at €6.58 per litre, is the price, says Foodwatch.
A blend of 59% sunflower oil, 34% rapeseed oil, 7% flax oil and added vitamin E, it contains 5.8 g of omega-3 per 100 ml (or 6.3 g omega-3 per 100 g). However, standard rapeseed oil contains around 9 g omega-3 per 100 g, according to OptiDiet, a German software programme for professional diet and nutritional counselling.
This is about one third more than Becel oil and pure rapeseed oil is also generally cheaper, at between €0.99 and €4 per litre.
Unilever rejected the claim Becel oil is misleading. A spokesperson told FoodNavigator: “In a free and functioning market economy, the marketplace is determined by supply and demand. Brands play a crucial role in this process. Using [this] award, Foodwatch is attacking German brands that fully comply with national and European laws and standards.
“Our product Becel omega-3 vegetable oil is a high-quality oil. All important product information can be found on the packaging. Consumers can use this information to purchase products that resemble their individual needs best.”
“The responsibility for pricing lies solely with our retailers,” added the spokesperson.