Algal-based cooking oil from Solazyme is scheduled to arrive on the market shortly.

Algal-based cooking oil from Solazyme is scheduled to arrive on the market shortly.

J dropcapeff Gelski writes in foodbusinessnews.net that algae oil is now in the toolbox of alternative oils shown to replace partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which cause trans fat.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this year said it had no questions about the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status of AlgaVia, Solazyme’s high-oleic algae oil, as an ingredient in food products. The algal oil food product is scheduled for a commercial launch in the second half of 2015.

“Due to its extremely low levels of polyunsaturates, the AlgaVia high stability algae oil offers unprecedented oxidative stability, outperforming partially hydrogenated vegetable oils with the added value of zero trans fat,” said Mark Brooks, senior vice-president of food ingredients at Solazyme.

AlgaVia oil contains 90% omega-9 fatty acids, 8% saturated fat, 2% polyunsaturates and no trans fat. “It works extremely well for frying and has excellent shelf life. It can be used to replace or reduce oils that are high in saturated fats and trans fat, like partially hydrogenated soybean oil, in food products like dressings, potato chips and mayonnaise.”

The FDA tentatively has determined PHOs are not GRAS for any use in food, based on current scientific evidence establishing the health risks associated with consuming trans fat. If the proposed rule is finalized, food manufacturers no longer would be permitted to sell PHOs, either directly or as ingredients in another food product, without prior FDA approval for use as a food additive.

Liquid oils such as AlgaVia may work alone to replace PHOs in frying applications. In applications like baked foods that require a more solid fat, liquid oils may work in oil blends. “AlgaVia high stability algae oil can be used in a wide range of product applications, including oil blends,” Mr. Brooks said. “Its exceptionally neutral flavor makes for great blend-ability with other oils as well as being an optimal flavor carrier or protector in sensitive applications.”