KFC: Local diners safe from trans fats

By Guan Xiaofeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-02 06:44

Following the US division of worldwide fried chicken empire KFC's promise to stop using artificial fats, the Chinese division Wednesday assured diners its chicken is fried in unhydrogenated palm oil.

KFC Corp (China) said it cooks its fried chicken in the healthier natural oil, which does not contain harmful trans fatty acids as many as found in the artificial cooking oils KFC uses in the US.

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KFC drops trans fats
"We are very glad to hear that KFC (United States) has changed to frying oil without trans fatty acids," KFC (China) said in a statement yesterday.

"All KFC products meet the national food safety standard," it said. "KFC also has a special office for food safety to ensure customers' health."

Aside from promising the company's products met safety standards, the statement also advised diners adopt a balanced, diverse diet and avoid overeating.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has made no comment on KFC's cooking, but has said it will look into it.

Business in Beijing's KFC restaurants continued as usual yesterday.

"I only eat at KFC occasionally, so I don't worry too much about its impact on my health," said a woman customer. "I think KFC, as a famous brand, will take measures to prevent harmful ingredients being used," she added.

The National Food Quality Supervision and Inspection Centre has drawn up a national standard for trans fatty acids in food, which has been submitted to the Standardization Administration of China for approval.

An expert from the centre was quoted by the Beijing News as saying trans fatty acids have not yet been listed as a daily examination item, for lack of a national standard.

"Palm oil might also contain traces of trans fatty acids but not to the extent that can damage health," the expert said.

KFC outlets in New York and Chicago have started cooking their fried chicken in new oil which has fewer fatty acids than the artificial oil they previously used in recent weeks, following claims their food increases the risk of heart disease.

Trans fatty acids, also called trans fats, are produced in the process of hydrogenation of plant oils.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, eating trans fats raises low-density lipoprotein levels so-called bad cholesterol and increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

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