Product Innovations Linked to Trans Fat Produces Healthier U.S./Canadian Cookies
For years, the food industry favored the use of trans fat in processed food because it extends the shelf life of a product and its stability permits frequent heating at high temperatures. But unlike any other food component, trans fat has no nutritional benefit and its consumption has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.These concerns prompted health agencies to recommend removal of trans fats from the global food supply. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended replacing it with unsaturated fats.
Dr. Neal Hooker, Professor of Food Policy in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and his colleague Shauna Downs, University of Sydney, examined more than 2,000 new cookie products from 2006 through 2012 to see how the industry adapted to new policies governing the use of trans fat. In the U.S., saturated fat was higher in these products in 2012 when compared to 2006 and 2007, but trans fat levels decreased over that time period. In Canada, there were no difference in the cookies’ composition, with the exception of reductions in trans fat over time. In both countries, cookie products without trans fat were more expensive.
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