Based on its recent analysis in the field of the trans fat reduction in hydrogenated foods, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Bunge Oils with the 2008 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation for its proprietary hydrogenation technology that enables the reduction of trans fats in partially hydrogenated oils and fats.
The issue of trans fatty acids in foods has been a national concern for the past few years with food scientists determining that the main contributor of trans fats in the human diet are partially hydrogenated food products such as margarines and shortenings. These products, in turn, cause trans fats to appear in baked goods including cakes, pastries, biscuits, as well as in fried foods and chips.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new regulation in 2003 that mandated the labeling of trans fat content in an entry, positioned immediately below the saturated fat declaration in the nutrition facts panel. In preparation for the January 1, 2006 labeling deadline, margarine and food shortening manufacturers contemplated and implemented the various alternative technologies available to them, in anticipation of the expected increase in demand of reduced-trans fat and zero-trans fat foods.
However, the alternative technologies such as blending with tropical oils and interestification have their drawbacks. For instance, blending of polyunsaturated vegetable oils with tropical oils usually results in a semihard fat that does not require hydrogenation, but is high in saturated fats. Interestification technology, on the other hand, is both a time consuming and expensive process.
"While partial hydrogenation is a source of trans fats, eliminating the hydrogenation of polyunsaturated vegetable oils offers a shortening that does not have the acceptable melting and mouth feel characteristics required for confectionaries and insert bakery products," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst W. F. Kee. "As a leading supplier of edible oils and fats to the U.S. food service industry, Bunge took the issue of trans fats seriously and developed a proprietary hydrogenation process in the early years of the new millennium."
Bunge's innovative hydrogenation procedure involves the use of a conditioned nickel catalyst that selectively prevents the formation of trans fats. The conditioned catalyst does not reduce hydrogenation reaction speed, and is easily incorporated into the hydrogenation process. The improved process reduces the content of trans fats in partially hydrogenated fat by more than 85 percent.
"As such, some of Bunge's commercially available shortenings and margarines have less than 4 percent trans fat by weight," adds Kee. "In addition to the specially hydrogenated products, Bunge also offers trans fat free options that utilize modified canola seeds and soybeans supplied by Dow Agrosciences and DuPont, which have modified fatty acid profiles and do not necessitate partial hydrogenation."
In line with its commitment to providing premium and high-quality edible oils and fats, Bunge plans to continue with its R&D activities so as to develop oils and food products that meet the changing needs of their customers and consumers.
For its timely and path-breaking innovation, Frost & Sullivan is proud to present Bunge Oils with the 2008 Award for Technology Innovation in trans fat reduction in hydrogenated foods in North America.
Each year Frost & Sullivan presents this Award to the company that has carried out new research, which has resulted in innovation(s) that have or are expected to bring significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change, and competitive posture. The Award recognizes the quality and depth of a company's research and development program as well as the vision and risk-taking that enabled it to undertake such an endeavor.
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About Bunge Oils
Bunge Oils is part of Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited, a leading agribusiness and food company that was founded in 1818 and is headquartered in White Plains, New York. Bunge's over 22,000 employees in over 30 countries enhance lives by improving the global agribusiness and food production chain. The company supplies fertilizer to farmers in South America, originates, transports and processes oilseeds, grains and other agricultural commodities worldwide, produces food products for commercial customers and consumers and supplies raw materials and services to the biofuels industry.
About Frost & Sullivan
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