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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518


VALENZUELA B., Alfonso; SANHUEZA C., Julio  and  NIETO K., Susana. IS IT POSSIBLE TO IMPROVE THE NUTRITIONAL QUALITY OF EDIBLE OILS?. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2002, vol.29, suppl.1, pp.174-180. ISSN 0717-7518.

Edible oils are important components of human foods and their variety and consumption depends on the availability in each country or region. Fatty acid composition of edible oils does not obey to a standard pattern because this composition is modified by the amount of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and particularly with the amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Western nutrition is characterized by the high ingestion of omega-6 fatty acids, and the low consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. This consumption pattern result from the wide availability of vegetable oils, and by the increasing consumption of pure and refined oils due to the commercial perception associated with these products. As a result of these practices, the omega-6: omega-3 consumption ratio is now very far from the nutritionally recommended ratio. Today it is possible to prepare oil blends with omega-6: omega-3 ratios very close to the recommended ratio for these fatty acids by simply mixing oils with different omega-6 and omega-3 composition. It is also possible to retain the original tocopherol-, carotenoid-, phytosterol-, and flavonoid-content of the oil by improving the refining process. These compounds belong to the «unsaponifiable» fraction and also has important health benefits. The possibility of developing nutritionally more suitable oils, with low investment and with great health impact is discussed

Keywords : Fatty acids; fats and oils; nutritional value; oil blends.

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