F.D.A. approves qualified health claim for canola oil

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — Canola oil is now eligible to bear a qualified health claim on its ability to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (C.H.D.) due to its unsaturated fat content, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said. The F.D.A. filed the petition on March 2 and posted it for a 60-day comment period, during which it received one comment supporting the claim unconditionally.

The claim approved by the F.D.A. reads:

"Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 1/2 tablespoons (19 grams) of canola oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in canola oil. To achieve this possible benefit, canola oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product contains [x] grams of canola oil."

Canola oil is high in healthy unsaturated fats (93%), free of cholesterol and trans fat, and the lowest in saturated fat (7%) of any common edible oil. This composition helps reduce the risk of C.H.D. by lowering total blood and low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol, said Guy H. Johnson, Ph.D., who wrote the qualified health claim petition on behalf of the U.S. Canola Association.

"There is ample scientific evidence to demonstrate these benefits from the unsaturated fats in canola oil," Mr. Johnson said. "By using it in place of other common edible oils, consumers can increase their compliance with the latest dietary recommendations."

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