An analysis by the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) of 40 margarines in South Africa has revealed that Blossom Canola and Blossom Canola Light, top the list of margarines when listed from a low to high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
The low saturated fat – less than 10% (less than 10gr per 100gr margarine) combined with the high omega-3 fatty acid content and low omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio as well as the less than 1% (one gram per 100gr margarine) content of trans fats resulted in Cansa endorsing the Blossom Canola margarine range with the Cansa "Smart Choice" Seal of Recognition. Both margarines are manufactured by Epic Foods.
Dr Carl Albrecht, Head of Research for Cansa says that too much omega-6 fatty acid increases systemic inflammation that is the "breeding ground" of cancer cells. "It is generally accepted that omega-6 needs to be balanced against omega-3 fatty acids in order to counteract inflammation optimally." He adds that 28 out of the 40 margarines investigated contained less than one gram of omega-3 fatty acid per 100 grams of margarine.
Albrecht further says Blossom Canola and Blossom Canola Light margarines have the highest concentration of Canola oil in South Africa. "This is the main reason why these brands have achieved Cansa’s revered ‘Smart Choice’ accolade."
Epic Foods delighted
Mr Altaf Hassam, Director of Epic Foods says the company is delighted with the outcomes of Cansa's research and analysis of margarines in South Africa. "We welcome the 'Smart Choice' endorsement from Cansa and I have no doubt that consumers in South Africa will also respond positively to the now scientifically proven health related benefits attributed to Blossom Canola and Blossom Canola Light."
Investigating trans fats in margarines
The research conducted by Cansa was triggered when Wikipedia stated that some margarines can contain up to 15% trans fats. As trans fats have been linked to breast and prostate cancers in international literature, Cansa decided to investigate this statement by analysing margarines available in South Africa.
A total of 40 margarines available in South Africa were purchased from commercial outlets and submitted to the CSIR for fatty acid analyses. It was found that all of the margarines were below 2% trans fats (2gr trans fats per 100gr margarine).
According to Albrecht this is really good news because it means that margarines in general do not pose a trans fat health threat as is often the case in other countries where hydrogenated oil, especially soya oil, is used.
"Cansa believes that prevention is the best cure of cancer and that the real war on cancer is to neutralise the causes and strengthen the defences," says Albrecht.
Source: Joint news release by Cancer Association of South Africa & Epic Foods (PTY) LTD.
For full results of margarine study click here.