Baking Management: How can the baking industry alleviate consumers' concerns about saturated fats?
K.C. Hayes: The knowledgeable baker can help consumers by explaining that natural saturated fats are a necessary component of all baked foods. They are needed for making good, heat- and shelf-stable products on the one hand, and for replacing trans fatty acids, which cause considerable damage in terms of heart disease and diabetes. In addition, the industry can assure the consumer that saturated fats are not bad per se, and that a balance between SFA and PUFA is in part the responsibility of the consumer to eat a balanced fat intake during the day. This means consuming considerable vegetable oil in other aspects of the diet if they are going to enjoy baked products that contribute saturated fat.
BM: How is APOC responding to the national push toward more healthful eating?
KH: One of the methods of helping the consumer understand good nutrition is through published information regarding the latest research, indicating how the palm oil industry and food industry, in general, are dealing with the trans fat issue. The consumer needs to know that fat is an important component of diet and that a balance between saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat is the best assurance for good health. As with all things in life, the proper balance between other aspects of the diet in terms of vegetables and animal products is an important consideration for healthy living.
BM: What types of functional challenges are bakers having that APOC can address?
KH: In order for the fats and oils industry to better meet the needs of bakers and consumers, it is important that technical and health issues related to the use of fat in baked products be registered with APOC. Palm oil and its fractions are such a versatile pool of fat that most issues that arise can be addressed very quickly with recommendations for the appropriate palm oil products available for use by the baking industry. In addition, APOC can stimulate new research when the need arises.