It seems to be the time of year for awards. As we go to print, the top New Zealand food products and producers are being lauded at the NZ Food Awards, hot on the heels of the brew industry last week. As I’ve opined before, entering awards is a fantastic way to showcase the achievements of businesses, and it’s encouraging to see an increase in the numbers of entrants this year. However, it’s not all slaps on the back. Consumer NZ has just launched its inaugural Bad Taste food awards to let manufacturers know customers are sick of them making their products look healthier than they are. Chief executive Sue Chetwin says the main focus is on claims food companies use to make products appear like better choices. “We’re inviting consumers to nominate products they think are the worst offenders. Food marketers continually push the boundaries, and it’s time their bad taste claims were called out.” Those concerns are echoed within the industry as well. Te Atatu Toasted founder Clare Robinson has worked in the food industry for 20 years and has seen a deliberate move away from making real food to making profitable low-cost, low-nutritional food. “But customers are waking up to this and are becoming much less trusting of big food manufacturers, especially with the publicity around products that are pumped full of sugar and highly refined ingredients because it makes them cheaper to produce,” she warns. Definitely food for thought. This month’s issue looks at the highly successful two-yearly FoodTech/PackTech Expo held in Auckland last week and who was there, the new Natural Health Foods Bill, how grape-growers can tackle global warming and what a Chinese chef called Da Dong says New Zealand food manufacturers should do. There’s three chances to win prizes, plus good news for the venison industry. Have a great October. Australia’s self-proclaimed ‘sceptical nutritionist’ Dr Bill Shrapnel – in New Zealand recently as guest speaker at the New Zealand Beverage Council conference – says “near hysterical” comments about sugar in mainstream media shows a disconnect between what nutrition science has to say about sugar in diets. “In the world of science, the low-fat diet has collapsed as the preferred model for healthy eating. Carbohydrate (refined starch – which has a similar effect to sugar), which was previously seen as the ideal replacement for fat, is suddenly less desirable than previously thought,” the controversial nutritionist says. “This shift in the science has provided various players with opportunities to push their interests, and positioning sugar as ‘toxic’ (an absurd claim) is part of the strategy.” The failure of the ‘eat less fat’ campaign to successfully address obesity has left public health nutritionists grasping at straws, Shrapnel says, with the left-leaning ones needing to identify a new dietary “villain” to take the place of fat…and sugar is it. Shrapnel has been a nutritionist for more than 30 years, including the role of national nutrition manager for the Australian Heart Foundation. He joined a diverse line-up of speakers over the two-day conference at Wairakei. EDITOR'S NOTE Kathryn Calvert Editor NZ FOODTechnology 2016 EVENTS GISBORNE WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL Gisborne – October 23, 2016 www.Gisbornewineandfood.co.nz LIPIDS, NEUTRACEUTICALS AND HEALTHY DIETS THROUGH THE LIFE CYCLE Nelson – November 8 to 10, 2016 www.oilsfats.org.nz NEW ZEALAND CIDER FESTIVAL Nelson – November 12, 2016 www.nzciderfestival.com DUNEDIN CRAFT BEER AND FOOD FESTIVAL Dunedin – November 12, 2016 www.dunedinbeerfest.co.nz TASTE OF AUCKLAND 2016 Auckland – November 17, 2016 www.tasteofauckland.co.nz TOAST MARTINBOROUGH Martinborough – November 20, 2016 www.Toastmartinborough.co.nz SOUTH ISLAND WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL Christchurch – December 3, 2016 www.winefestival.co.nz AND THE WINNER IS SIGN UP FOR YOUR FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION foodtechnology.co.nz MARGARINE VS BUTTER DEBATE The article on margarine vs butter by the Heart Foundation in the August issue was biased and misleading. It reflected the Heart Foundation’s vested interest. Margarine is chemically hydrogenated liquid oil to become solid and therefore have a long shelf life. This process converts the oils to trans fats, which cannot be utilised by the body and are therefore processed metabolically as saturated fat. They do not have the same nutritional value as naturally occurring cis-bonded fats and oils. Therefore butter is a much better alternative to margarine because it is metabolically useful. DAIRY SPECIAL MARGARINE VS BUTTER Sparking this fresh debate was an article published in the British Medical Journal earlier this year about newly discovered data from the Minnesota Heart Study, a 50-year experiment on how fats affect our health. The article reports that swapping saturated fat for vegetable oil may not in fact be better for our hearts. More alarming still, it states that too much vegetable oil could actually increase our risk of heart disease, rather than reduce it. The resulting sensational media headlines have cast doubt into the minds of even the most loyal margarine users. But what did the research really say? Should we go back to spreading lashings of butter on our bread? By taking a closer look at the study, it’s clear the results are not all they seem to be. Here are some reasons why: Janet Taylor, M.Sc Nutritional Biologist 20 AUGUST 2016 older adults, does not necessarily affect long-term health outcomes, such as heart disease. As the corn oil was used in place of the usual cooking fats, it’s possible that heating the corn oil during cooking was responsible for some of the trial’s negative effects • The study involved older adults who had been admitted into care because they were ill. That means the results cannot be generalised to a healthy younger population living outside of institutionalised care • The vegetable oil used in this study was predominately linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) in the form of corn oil • The results of this study don’t provide strong enough evidence that we should be switching from vegetable oils or margarine back to butter. The bulk of evidence still tells us that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, particularly polyunsaturated fats and corn oil polyunsaturated margarine. The amount of linoleic acid given to research subjects was about double the amount eaten by most Americans. So, it’s possible those people involved in the study were having too much of a good thing; the amount they ate was undoing any potential benefits (including both omega 3 and omega 6), helps reduce our risk of heart disease. Butter is the biggest source of saturated fat in the Kiwi diet. While using small amounts of butter every now and then shouldn’t be a problem for most people, the clear, unequivocal evidence remains that it is better for our hearts to replace saturated fats (such as butter, coconut • Unfortunately the trial did not include the addition of any omega-3 fats to the diet, only omega-6. Since the start of the trial some 50 years ago, we have learnt more about the importance of including both omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids in the diet to reduce the risk of heart disease. As with most things, balance reigns supreme oil and fatty meat) with unsaturated fats. Making the simple swap from butter to margarine spreads is one way to do this. This article was supplied by the New Zealand Heart Foundation. • Only one quarter of participants followed the diet for more than a year. Altering a person’s diet for a short period of time, especially among unwell Experience you can trust Respected supplier of high quality nutritional and specialty ingredients to the New Zealand food and dairy industry. Interchem Agencies Limited P +64 9 418 0097 F +64 9 418 4678 www.interchem.co.nz FT116 Mythbuster… Nutrition is like fashion – trends fade into the background, only to regain popularity a few years down the track. Right now, the hot topic is whether we should be using butter or margarine. It’s an old debate that’s once again ‘rearing its head’. LETTER TO THE EDITOR 1 Got an event you want your industry to know about? Contact the editor: email@example.com SUGAR UNDER FIRE FROM “HYSTERICAL” MAINSTREAM MEDIA Anthony Griffin Congratulations Anthony. Thanks for subscribing to our digital eMag.
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