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AAK working to support the government’s Saturated Fat Reduction Pledge

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AAK working with food manufacturers to support the government’s Saturated Fat Reduction Pledge

AAK (UK) Limited, is helping food manufacturers and retailers to reduce the saturated fat content of their products, enabling them to commit to the government’s ‘Responsibility Deal Saturated Fat Reduction Pledge’.

Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison, launched the pledge in October 2013 as part of a drive to cut the amount of saturated fat in our food. According to the recent National Diet and Nutrition Survey, undertaken by the Food Standards Agency, there is clearly much work to be done. The survey reported that the ‘mean intake of saturated fat exceeded the DRV (no more than 11% food energy) in all age/sex groups. For example, mean saturated fat intake for adults aged 19 to 64 years was 12.6% food energy. (National Diet and Nutrition Survey, Food Standards Agency, 2014, p. 19)

Manufacturers and retailers responsible for producing half of the UK’s food have committed to the pledge to date and, as a result, it is anticipated that saturated fat equivalent to more than one and a half Olympic sized swimming pools will be removed from the nation’s diet during 2014.

High consumption levels of saturated fat are associated with cardiovascular disease and strokes. In the UK, coronary heart disease is responsible for one in six male deaths and one in nine female deaths. Cutting the amount of saturated fat by 15% could prevent about 2,600 premature deaths each year.

However, many consumers are now focusing on limiting sugar and increasing protein in their diet rather than on reducing their fat consumption. When saturated fats are reduced in recipes, sugar is often increased to compensate for taste. This causes a potential problem for manufacturers trying to balance consumer demand with government initiatives.

“The best way for food manufacturers to reduce saturated fats is to reformulate their recipes,” says John McAughtrie, Customer Innovation Director at AAK.

“This can be achieved by including less fat, or by using different types of fat. However, this has to be done without compromising on taste or texture and we support our customers by finding bespoke solutions for their recipes.”

“One of the key ways we can help is to replace butter in our customers’ recipes,” says John.

“Butter is very high in saturated fat, but we have products, such as our pumpable shortenings, that can be used across a range of products.”

AAK’s Akoblend range can be used to fully replace butter, providing healthier options. It can also be utilised as a partial substitute in ‘butter enriched’ products, or incorporated into products to upgrade the taste of standard margarines for a richer flavour, but without the increased cost of butter.

AAK works with customers to reformulate their recipes with ingredients, such as Akoblend, to move their products from the ‘red’ or ‘high’ traffic light label to an ‘amber’ or ‘medium’ traffic light label. Food traffic light labels are used to quickly inform consumers about the levels of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt in a given product.

“We work incredibly closely with manufacturers, testing recipes with reduced saturated fats for taste, mouth feel and shelf life. We have our own laboratories, but often work on-site with our customers.”

The result is a partnership dedicated to reducing saturated fat whilst delivering high quality, tasty products.

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