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McDonald's New Zealand makes oil changes

13 December 2006

McDonald's New Zealand makes oil changes

McDonald’s New Zealand today announced another major step forward for the health of Kiwis with oil changes resulting in a blend that is lower in saturated fat and virtually trans fat free.

In June 2004, the company’s restaurants changed to a vegetable cooking oil blend, with a trans fat level of less than 1 per cent making it virtually free of trans fatty acids.

Now its suppliers will be partially cooking products in non-hydrogenated canola oil, reducing saturated fat levels. This latest change means a total reduction of more than 725 tonnes of saturated fat or an 83% reduction in saturated fats compared to early 2004.

The changes mean the company’s oil blend is high in monounsaturated fat (good fat) which helps us maintain good health, and like other vegetable oils, is cholesterol free.

Mark Hawthorne, Country Manager, McDonald’s New Zealand says the change is the latest move by McDonald’s to lead the way in the quick service sector to help improve the health of New Zealanders.

“We have been working with dietitians and our suppliers over the past few years to make further improvements to our oil. We moved to a vegetable cooking oil blend in 2004 and have now made further improvements without compromising on quality or taste.

“We believe that by making this change we have taken another significant step to further improve the nutritional profile of our menu,” said Mr Hawthorne.

The move follows the company's recent voluntary introduction of nutrition labelling and percentage daily intake (%DI) on packaging so customers can see what percentage of their total daily intake of energy and nutrients are in McDonald’s products.

“Our commitment to our customers is to provide them with information so they can make informed choices,” added Mr Hawthorne. “We continue to find ways to improve the quality of our food, to expand the choices available on our menu and how we communicate to customers.”

Food Industry Group Executive Director Robert Bree is supportive of the company’s move: “We commend McDonald’s for making yet another positive investment in the battle against obesity. We encourage others in industry to explore opportunities to continue to make meaningful contributions. Oils are an important ingredient in the food supply and any opportunities to reduce trans-fatty acids need to be seriously considered for the benefit of all New Zealanders.”

ENDS

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