Cargill develops stable canola oil with low saturated fat and ‘improved flavour’

By Flora Southey contact

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages/8vFanI
©GettyImages/8vFanI

Related tags: Cargill, Canola, Saturated fat

Cargill, Inc. has filed a patent covering its process for manufacturing heat-stable canola oil that contains just 3.5-5% total saturated fatty acids.

The specialty oil contains less saturates than conventional canola oil, maintains its flavour, and provides “acceptable” ​frying stability.

According to Cargill, these three parameters had never before been achieved in canola crop.

The non-transgenic oil can be used for a variety of applications, including to replace or reduce the amount of saturated fats and hydrogenated oils in processed or packaged food products, such as cookies, pastries, and breakfast cereals.

The oil can also be used to formulate spray coatings for cereals or crackers, and in the manufacturing of dressings, mayonnaises, and sauces to reduce total saturated fat content.

Reduced saturated fat

Cargill’s new oil contains less than 5% saturates, whereas commodity canola oils commonly used in industry and by consumers have a saturate level of between 6-8%, claims the multinational.

This is significant, given that diets high in saturated fatty acids have been identified as major causes of cardiovascular disease and death.

The invention can be used to replace or reduce the amount of saturated fats and hydrogenated oils, suggested Cargill, highlighting that current dietary guidelines recommend that saturated fat intake should not be more than 10% of total calories.

Heat stable and ‘enhanced flavour’

“In addition to the desire for reduced levels of saturated fats, oils used in food applications including frying must exhibit other important characteristics,” ​writes Cargill in its patent application, citing stability as a crucial trait.

Fast food restaurants in particular are constantly looking for good tasting oil that remains stable in the high heat and moisture environment of frying kitchens, the multinational continued. “Fully saturated fats, either naturally occurring or produced through hydrogenation of other oils have excellent stability; however these oils are viewed negatively by the public.”

Cargill has achieved stability in this invention by maintaining a low content of linolenic acid – which is an essential fatty acid belonging to the omega-3 fatty acids group, and one that is particularly susceptible to oxidisation in the frying environment.

The food giant has also achieved a desirable flavour profile by keeping a high content of linoleic acid. This polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid is found mostly in plant oils, and is one of two essential fatty acids for humans.

Source: World International Property Organization
Patent title: Specialty Low Saturates Canola Oil
Published online 13 June 2019, publication number: 20190174788
Inventor: Richard Fletcher

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