A new cooking oil that promises a healthier nutritional profile has also come up trumps in a sustainability comparison against one of the most commonly used alternatives, showing a lower carbon footprint and reduced water consumption.
HOLL oil – an oil high in healthy oleic acid – is produced from oilseed rape grown throughout northern Europe. It compares more favourably to similar sunflower oils – often known as HOSO – in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, according to data provided in a report commissioned from the consultants Bidwells.
Oilseed rape is more usually grown in cooler northern Europe, whereas sunflowers tend to be more commonly found in the warmer climes of southern Europe.
Both crops are grown primarily for oil extraction, and they are regarded as being more sustainable than many alternatives. Palm oil, for instance, is an imported product whose production is associated with negative environmental effects, including substantial greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and threats to biodiversity. This was emphasised by the recent move from British supermarket chain Iceland, which has now banned the use of palm oil in its products on environmental grounds.
"In our marketing of HOLL, we have focused on the benefits that it offers to both the foodservice operator – improved performance and reduced heat deterioration – and to the consumer, in terms of healthier eating and a better taste," explains Lionel Lordez, HOLL’s business development manager.
"We’ve also underlined the benefits of using a European-sourced oil, giving operators a fully traceable supply chain, to improve their sustainability."
Bidwells’ study was conducted using respected international standards, including those drawn up by the Kyoto Protocol, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the Water Footprint Network.
For carbon footprint, the study looked at the CO2 equivalent emitted in production of the crop, drying and storage, transport and oil extraction. Across the countries included in the study, oilseed rape emitted an average CO2 equivalent of 333kg/tonne of crop, while sunflower production led to an average CO2 equivalent of 525kg/tonne of crop.
The study also revealed that sunflowers tended to require more inputs during production, particularly diesel fuel and energy-intensive fertiliser, although some of this was attributed to differing requirements and practices between regions.
When it came to the water footprint comparison, there was much greater variation between countries. Nevertheless, oilseed rape showed itself to be more ‘water friendly’, with sunflowers requiring up to four times as much water per tonne of seed.
"The report helps to underline HOLL’s credentials as a sustainable oil for the foodservice industry, says Mr Lordez.
"We’re all increasingly focused on reducing our impact on the environment; switching to HOLL gives users the reassurance that they’re doing their bit too, while also benefiting from HOLL’s performance and healthier profile."
HOLL is widely available from distributors nationwide. Find out more at www.weloveholl.com.