Charlton House has introduced a new type of rapeseed oil into its staff restaurants under the caterer's Wellbeing Being Well healthy eating initiative.
Managing director Caroline Fry said the business and industry division of CH&Co first introduced rapeseed oil into its restaurants four years ago. "It has one third less saturated fat than sunflower oil and less than half that of olive oil or corn oil," she explained.
The new Essent-oil comes from current Charlton House supplier R-Oil, which has worked closely with the natural seed breeder Syngenta Seeds to produce an oil with reduced levels of omega 6 essential fats to provide an optimum balance with omega 3s.
Amanda Ursell, consultant nutritionist to Charlton House, said that while omega 6 is beneficial, dramatic changes to typical diets over the last 100 years have thrown its ratio to omega 3 out of kilter.
"We now have 20 to 30 times more of the former compared with the latter," she said. "Essent-oil has taken a step in the direction by helping to rebalance this ratio by lowering its Omega 6 content. "
Charlton House chefs who trialed the new oil found that it has a more pleasant aroma than the original, no after-taste, and its vibrant, amber colour makes it visually appealing on the salad bar.
Ursell aded: "In my view, Charlton House's switch is a good move for the nutritional health of customers, not least because, in addition to all this omega 6 and omega 3 business, the new rapeseed oil is also richer in monounsaturated fats, which seem to be good for heart health."
By Janie Stamford
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