Cargill expands high oleic canola line

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Saturated fat, Trans fat, Nutrition, Cargill

US ingredient giant Cargill is expanding its line of high oleic
canola products, on the back of customer demand for oils and
shortenings with no trans fat and low levels of saturated fat.

The company has added two new products to its Clear Valley line - a doughnut shortening and an icing shortening. It has also changed the brand name of its TransEnd all-purpose shortening to include this product under the Clear valley umbrella. The company is putting extra weight behind this line following increased customer demand over the past 18 months for products that are low in saturated fat as well as trans fat free. "As we see the future, the next thing people will be concerned about is levels of saturated fat. There already is a move away from saturated fat in the marketplace, and we expect this trend to become even larger over the next three to five years,"​ said Scott Erickson from Cargill Specialty Canola Oils Cargill's Clear Valley shortenings claim to deliver similar functionality, mouth feel and shelf life stability as other shortenings. They qualify as 'trans-free' under US regulations, meaning they contain less than 0.5g of trans fats per serving. Additionally, they claim to be lower in saturated fat than other zero trans products on the market. Erickson told FoodNavigator-USA.com that the firm's doughnut shortening contains 3.5g of saturated fat per serving, and the all-purpose shortening contains 3g. The latter is 22 percent saturated fat (compared to the 54 percent found in tropical oils such as palm oil). Cargill said tests on its doughnut shortening have proved it to absorb less oil than alternative products, and it also claims a longer shelf life. In light of the industry move away from saturated fats, Cargill said it decided to change the brand name of its TransEnd product targeting customers in the foodservice sector to highlight the fact that it was suited to low saturated fat applications as well as no trans fat applications. The same product sold to food processors will keep its original name. "The whole premise around the change is so our customers can have one brand to look to for the same performance but superior nutritional value,"​ said Erickson. Although canola oil has not yet penetrated the food processing segment in the same way as partially hydrogenated soy oil, which has tended to be the preferred option to slash trans fats, there are clear signs that the oil is starting to attract more attention and demand. High stability canola oil does not require hydrogenation and can be used successfully as a repeat use frying oil. Indeed, the oil's potential to penetrate the food processing sector prompted Canada's Canola Council earlier this year to predict the production of the crop to more than double by 2015. Additionally, in August this year Cargill announced it will build a second canola processing plant in Canada in a move to meet growing demand. The new plant will be located adjacent to Cargill's existing operation in Clavet, Saskatchewan, and is expected to double the firm's oilseed processing capacity to 1.5m tons annually. Cargill said the added crush capacity is supported by strong demand for hi oleic canola oil in addition to growing demand for generic canola oils. The firm's Clear Valley canola oil was this year analyzed by FryTest.com, an independent company that claims no affiliation with the oil industry. The analysis compared trans-free oils from different firms, based on fat content (trans, saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats), fry life (measuring oil degradation after using each oil for frying 300 times), food to oil ratio (to determine how many pounds of fries were cooked per pound of oil), and consumer acceptance (based on appearance, color, taste, crispiness and greasiness evaluations). According to the results, Cargill's Clear Valley high oleic canola oil contained 0.2 percent trans fat, 6.5 percent saturated fat, and received a 5.8 consumer rating out of a scale of 1 (dislike) to 8 (like).

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