Health Canada allows use of phytosterols in food

by Jeff Gelski
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LA GRANGE, ILL. — Health Canada recently ruled that Cognis natural plant sterol and sterol esters may be used in food products, the company said May 20. In Canada, the approved daily serving is up to the equivalent of 3 grams of free sterols. Food applications include unstandardized spreads, mayonnaise, margarine, calorie-reduced margarine, salad dressing and unstandardized salad dressings, yogurt and yogurt drinks, and vegetable and fruit juices.

Phytosterols are found in vegetables, fruit, vegetable oils, legumes, nuts and grains, according to Cognis. Since the molecular structure of plant sterols is almost identical to cholesterol, the body accepts plant sterols as though they were cholesterol, blocking the absorption of dietary cholesterol into the bloodstream. Cognis in North America offers phytosterols under the brand name Heart Choice.

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