Monday, October 30, 2006

The Colonel's Original Recipe just changed

Well, this is interesting news if you're a Kentucky Fried Chicken™ afficianado:

KFC Canada announced Monday it would virtually eliminate trans fats from its entire menu by phasing in a Canadian-made canola cooking oil immediately in its restaurants in British Columbia and the Maritimes. It was to be rolled out in Ontario and Quebec through December.

Affected products include KFC's famous Colonel Harland Sanders original recipe chicken, french fries, potato wedges, popcorn chicken, chicken nuggets, crispy strips and hot wings.

Priszm Canadian Income Fund, which operates KFC restaurants in Canada, promised consumers wouldn't lose out on the Colonel's "11 herbs and spices" secret recipe flavour that has been around for over 50 years.


The new cooking oil would also reduce the amount of saturated fat in KFC Canada's food by about 40 per cent, said the company.

KFC in the U.S. announced a similar initiative Monday. The plan, to be completed by April 2007, would involve its American chains using a trans fat-free soybean oil. The change would affect its original recipe and extra crispy fried chicken, potato wedges and other menu items, but not its biscuits.
I was trying to sort out why the varying dates for changes. BC and the Maritimes are first to get "healthier" KFC, then Ontario and Quebec. Hmmm. And, the US doesn't see a complete change until April 2007.

Could it be they have to expend the existing stock of the old cooking fat?

Health Canada has been working with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada to develop recommendations and strategies for reducing trans fats in Canadian foods since November 2004.

Since then, Wendy's International Inc., and New York Fries have switched to a zero-trans fat oil on both sides of the border. McDonald's Corp. had announced that it intended to do so as well in 2003, but has yet to follow through. (Emphasis mine)
There's a reason for that, apparently.

The problem, conceded Marcone, is the time and money it takes to figure out how to produce a trans fat-free item without compromising taste.

Removing fat from a product eliminates the "mouth feel," he said, meaning the fat coats the mouth and slowly releases the flavour. "So if you eliminate the fat you're going to get a quick burst of flavour and then nothing after that," he said.

Consumers should also be aware that some fast food items still contain high levels of salt and sugar, said nutritional experts.

"Lowering the potential harmfulness of these foods doesn't necessarily translate into them now being healthy," said Bruce Holub, professor emeritus of the University of Guelph's Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences. (Emphasis mine... again)
Most health experts in the US recommend no more than around 2300 mg of sodium per day. Health Canada suggests, particularly where high blood-pressure is a concern, that sodium intake not exceed 1500 mg per day.

You can take my word for it, speaking from personal experience, that's not much. However, if you'd like to see what various fast foods can do to the recommended adult daily allowance of fats, sodium, etc. you should take a look at this.

Most fast foods will blow your recommended daily allowance of sodium right out of the water.

Of course, it would really help if there was a requirement, particularly where food is prepared on a virtual assembly line using processed products, to display all the pertinent nutrition data as is now required on all packaged food products.

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