Fatty acid content of each plant oil

When examining the fatty acid composition of different oils, they can divided into several groups (Table 3). To an extent, this also characterises the food value of these oils. The main criteria are the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, oleic acid and other fatty acids, as well as the ratios between them, expressed as the P/S ratio (P/S = polyunsaturated/saturated ratio).

Generally speaking, the higher this value, the better the food value of the oil. However, the DGE reference values consider a ratio of 30:40:30 (saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated) as ideal in overall nutrition. Thus, if large amounts of animal fats (excluding saltwater fish) are consumed, plant oils with a high polyunsaturated fatty acid content should be supplemented.

Experts have long distanced themselves from past recommendations to consume large amounts of linoleic acid, despite the proven benefits, because they increase the risk of peroxide formation. Based on the new guidelines, they should be replaced with a high proportion of ALA in daily food intake. Our local rapeseed and linseed oil fulfil this criterion. Linseed oil is a regional speciality, especially in Berlin and Brandenburg. Due to the extremely high ALA content of 54 g/100 g oil, linseed oil only has a limited shelf life and should not be heated. With its virtually ideal fatty acid profile, rapeseed oil clearly stands out from other fats rich in ALA. Rapeseed oil has the highest ALA content out of the common edible oils: 9 g/100 g. The LA : ALA ration is particularly low with 2 : 1. Rapeseed oil has a low content of saturated fatty acids: only 7 g/100 g. And finally, the monounsaturated fatty acid content - specifically oleic acid - is high at 62 g/100 g. Together, these benefits make rapeseed oil indispensable for modern nutrition. The targeted minimum intake of 1.3 g ALA - the amount an adult should consume at a total energy intake of 2,400 kcal - can be achieved with only 15 g of rapeseed oil. That equals 1.5 tablespoons per day. If rapeseed oil is incorporated into the daily diet, the total fatty acid composition of the food intake can be steered in a beneficial direction. This local edible oil is suitable for salad dressings and marinades, as well as roasting. We should not be surprised if rapeseed oil firmly establishes itself in every kitchen in the future.

In April 2000, the new D-A-CH reference values came into force. These were first published jointly by the German Nutrition Association (DGE) and the Austrian and Swiss professional societies. They replace the previous national DGE recommendations for the supply of nutrients.

This trend reversal in relation to fat and fatty acids has been emerging for while now. New priorities are set for essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).

Polyunsaturated fatty acids should account for approximately 7% of energy intake; however, no more than 10%. While an increase of linoleic acid content was stressed in the past, ALA intake is now increasingly emphasised. The objective is to achieve the right balance between linoleic acid (LA) and ALA. According to the current state of knowledge, the ration of these two fatty acids should be 5 : 1. In order to meet the requirements, the latest recommendation is to cover 2.5% of the energy intake with linoleic acid and 0.5% with ALA. In terms of the new D-A-CH reference values, rapeseed oil, linseed oil and walnut oil are emphasised as suitable edible oils.

The total fat intake for a healthy average adult should remain limited to a maximum of 30% of the total energy intake. The limit of 10% of total energy continues to apply for saturated fatty acids. The remainder of the saturated and unsaturated fatty acids proportion of the total fat intake should be covered by monounsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid. They will then still account for more than 10% of the total energy intake. In terms of volume, oleic acid remains the most important fatty acids, not least due to the beneficial influence oleic acid has in relation to heart attacks and cancer.

The heart is one of the organs most severely affected by poor nutrition. Too much fat, and especially the wrong fat composition, can contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases in combination with other factors, such as lack of exercise, smoking, stress and certain underlying medical conditions. The following pages sum up the findings of various studies, and the how rapeseed oil can contribute to healthy nutrition for your heart.

Heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases, as well as cancer, are less frequent in Mediterranean countries than in Northern Europe. This was substantiated rather impressively by the Seven Countries Study. Residents of the Island of Crete are at a particularly low risk of cardiovascular disease. The term “Crete Diet” has been coined on this basis. This Mediterranean diet largely corresponds to traditional Crete cuisine. Its most characteristic features are the high content of oleic acid and the low content of saturated fatty acids.

Over the past 15 years, study findings have shown: A diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) can result in lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. The HDL cholesterol is not noticeably affected, which means that the impact on cholesterol levels is evaluated as extremely beneficial overall. This has created a different perspective of monounsaturated fatty acids.

However, MUFA intake can only have a positive effect if the balance of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids is also correct. This is why Maxfrit Extra deep-frying oil is recommended by DGE, ÖGE and SGE for its lipid profile.

Numerous studies show that saturated fatty acids effect by far the most significant increase in cholesterol concentration compared to other food factors. It is assumed that excessive consumption of saturated fatty acids leads to lower LDL receptor activity, which in turn results in higher LDL cholesterol levels, and therefore higher total cholesterol levels. Conversely, lowering the saturated fatty acid content may increase LDL receptor activity. Epidemiological data and findings of intervention studies have shown that reducing the intake of saturated fatty acids leads to a reduced serum cholesterol concentration and a lower risk of heart attack (this applies, in particular, to saturated fatty acids with a chain length of at least 12 carbon atoms).

Source: Ufop and others

Rapeseed oil is the most popular plant oil in Germany. No other oil is used this much in the gastronomic trade. There are many reasons for this. For instance, rapeseed oil is available in various variants, it’s range of application in the kitchen is diverse, and many nutritionists recommend rapeseed oil on account of its beneficial fatty acid composition.

In the nutrition and culinary industries, rapeseed oil is an important ingredient in the production of the most diverse products, such as our Maxfrit Extra deep-frying oil, not least on account of these health benefits.

Saturated fatty acids: 6,5 g
Unsaturated fatty acids:  
of which monounsaturated fatty acids 60,0 g
of which polyunsaturated fatty acids 25,5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg

Its unique fatty acid profile is one of the reasons rapeseed oil is so successful. For many years, lowering cholesterol level primarily focused on polyunsaturated fatty acids. More recently, monounsaturated fatty acids have gained new acclaim, especially oleic acid. Omega-3 fatty acids is also enjoying increasing attention as a polyunsaturated fatty acid, due to its numerous and diverse modes of action.

Replacing saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated fatty acids in the daily diet helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. This is why larger amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids have been recommended for while. However, some studies have shown that excessive quantities of polyunsaturated fatty acids not only have a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels, but may simultaneously lower beneficial HDL cholesterol.

Monounsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid have long been considered neutral is its impact on blood cholesterol levels. In the past 10 years, numerous studies have substantiated rather impressively that a diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) can result in lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the blood. The effect on HDL cholesterol content is negligible, if present at all, which means that the overall impact on cholesterol levels is extremely beneficial.

On account of these findings, oils with a high monounsaturated fatty acid content, such as rapeseed oil, have gained new nutritional acclaim.

Source: Ufop and others