The production in the EU of the oilseeds, rapeseed and sunflower, has
increased dramatically over the last 20 years. Much of the oil produced after crushing is used for culinary purposes; this enhanced intake of vegetable oil has led to a substantial change of fatty
acid (FA) supply. This has been conclusively demonstrated by taking the UK oil
supply data and by use of the FA profile of the key oils converting the supply
data into a FA profile of the UK market place for 2008-2012. The most marked
changes are a reduction in saturated fat (SFA) and an increase in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) available for consumption. Furthermore the introduction of varieties of hi-oleic sunflower oil
can further affect the market FA profile. The
fat profiles of rapeseed and sunflower oils are considered healthy and they can have a
positive impact when included in the diet, particularly as a replacement for
oils or fats rich in SFA. In the UK and much
of Europe, adult SFA intake continues to exceed recommendations. While
reductions in the UK population’s SFA intake have occurred over the last 20
years, these are modest and it may be timely to identify ways in which SFA
intake can be further reduced. To do this, the UK market FA supply data has
been analysed alongside the profile of FA intake from adults recording their intake
in national dietary surveys in order to
identify if the market supply affects overall FA consumption. There is
an indication that market oil supply is reflected in adults dietary intake of
the main groups of FA. Consequently changes made to the oil profile of oilseeds
by plant breeders and use of the resulting healthier oils by food manufacturers
could have important roles to play in helping adults to achieve the recommended
intake of SFA and also improve the overall fat quality in their diet leading
to enhanced long-term health and well-being.
Thus changes made in primary oilseed production supported by culinary
use of these oils with a healthier profile could help support the UK’s Department
of Health SFA Responsibility Deal and other similar National initiatives that are
looking for industry pledges to offer sustained long-term reductions in SFA, consistent with healthy eating recommendations. Using the market
supply to drive dietary change allows sectors of the population to be most resistant
healthy eating messages and least likely to make
dietary interventions to move to a healthier FA profile of intake with minimal personal
intervention; in this case, health by stealth.
Cite this paper
Harland, J. (2014) The role that oilseeds, including new hi-oleic varieties can play in improving the profile of fat intake by the UK population. Agricultural Sciences
, 210-219. doi: 10.4236/as.2014.53024
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