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Most switching to canola


NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Most switching to canola
The restaurant industry is moving to healthier
cooking oils like canola in response to consumer demand for trans
fat-free oils, according to market research firm Technomic, Inc., which
presented findings at the National Restaurant Association Show on May
17. In fact, canola oil was the No. 1 most switched to cooking oil in
the past two years, with about one-third of restaurants polled
reporting canola oil use.

May 27, 2008, Chicago – The restaurant industry is moving to healthier cooking oils like canola in response to consumer demand for trans fat-free oils, according to market research firm Technomic, Inc., which presented findings at the National Restaurant Association Show on May 17. In fact, canola oil was the No. 1 most switched to cooking oil in the past two years, with about one-third of restaurants polled reporting canola oil use.
 
The purpose of the February 2008 survey was to gather information on little known usage and perceptions of cooking oils in the U.S. food service sector, reported Bob Goldin, executive vice president of Technomic. Respondents were 400 purchasing executives at limited and full service restaurants that are high volume users of cooking oil. The survey found that 28% of them changed their cooking oil within the past two years. Canola oil saw the biggest “net gain” of restaurant cooking oil conversions, followed by soybean oil and oil blends.
 
“Unlike many trans fat-free alternatives, canola oil is also low in saturated fat,” said Robert Hunter, vice president of communications, Canola Council of Canada. “This allows for reduction of both trans and saturated fats in restaurant menu items. Canola oil also has a high heat tolerance, neutral flavor and light texture, making its performance as outstanding as its nutritional profile.”
 
The Technomic survey revealed that 12% of the restaurants polled that had not made a recent oil change are actively considering one now. Canola oil is one of the top three options being considered. This is likely due to the survey findings that most restaurants (84%) consider zero or low trans fat important and 73% think the same of low saturated fat.
 
“Chains and independent restaurants are increasingly moving toward healthier oils as consumers, regulators and special interest groups demand them,” Goldin said.
 
The most common uses of canola oil reported were deep-frying, all purpose, baking and sautéing/pan-frying. The survey was funded by the Governments of Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario and the Government of Canada.

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