Danisco taps growing concern over trans fats

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Trans fats Nutrition Trans fat Danisco

Danisco claims it has developed the ingredients to help food makers
use trans-free fats without losing functionality.

The company has developed a range of emulsifier blends designed to restore full processing and performance functionality to trans-free oils and fats, optimising production capacity and improving the overall quality of the final food product.

"Our aim is to tell manufacturers that we are fully aware of the issues they face in relation to trans fatty acids and that we have the knowledge and expertise to help them solve them,"​ said industry marketing manager Dorte Petersen.

The company has now launched a marketing campaign to raise awareness of these opportunities.

Danisco hopes to capitalise on growing government and customer concerns over the need to reduce the amount of trans-fatty acids. Although concern has been greater in the US, awareness of the potential danger of trans fats has increased in Europe over the past few years.

Trans fats, which are mainly found in (partially) hydrogenated vegetable oil, common ingredients in thousands of food products, have been negatively linked to raising blood cholesterol levels and promoting heart disease. Research shows that when too much 'bad' cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain resulting in atherosclerosis.

There has been growing pressure for the whole of Europe to follow Denmark's example and force food makers to clearly label the presence of trans fats. For example, this is the thinking behind the UK Campaign Against Trans Fats in Food, a web-based organisation that aims to put pressure on industry and regulators and raise awareness of the dangers of trans fats.

Danisco believes it can help food makers ensure they are not left behind in this latest health trend. The blends have been formulated to solve the problems experienced by many European manufacturers of fats and oils, bakery products and confectionery, who have replaced trans-rich partially hydrogenated fats with trans-free palm oil fractions and interesterified fats.

While existing trans-free alternatives can contribute a similar solid fat content to partially hydrogenated fats, the often slower crystallisation speed and inferior performance in final food applications reduce production capacity and may increase costs.

Danisco claims that its Grinsted Crystalizer emulsifier blends have been specially developed to secure fast fat crystallisation, enabling manufacturers to get the most out of their production line and enhancing fat performance in pastries, cakes and fat-based fillings for confectionery and fine bakery.

"We also provide technical support in developing trans-free and low-trans solutions with full, all-round functionality,"​ said Petersen.

Food makes in Europe should be concerned about this issue. In May 2003, a US-based lawyer filed a lawsuit against Kraft, targeting the trans-fat content of Oreo's. As a consequence, Kraft agreed to remove trans fats from their cookies amid the sudden blaze of publicity.

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