Palm Oil on the Edge

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Internationally recognized Spanish experts in the food industry, nutrition, toxicology, sustainability, and veterinary science met in Madrid on July 2018 to develop a consensus about palm oil (PO) as a food ingredient. Their aim was to provide a useful, evidence-based point of reference about PO. Scientific evidence about the role of PO in food safety, nutrition and sustainability was analyzed. Main conclusions were: (1) RSPO foundation responded to the environmental impact of palm crops. The Amsterdam Declaration pursues the use of 100% sustainable PO in Europe by 2020. Awareness about choosing sustainable products will help to maintain local economies and environments in the producing countries; (2) evidence shows that a moderate intake of PO within a healthy diet presents no risks for health. No evidence justifies any change fat intake recommendations; (3) food industry is interested in assuring safe, sustainable and high-quality products. The use of certified sustainable PO is increasing; and (4) there is no evidence associating PO consumption and higher cancer risk, incidence or mortality in humans. Tolerable daily intake (TDI) for toxic contaminants (2-and 3-monochloropropanediols (MCPDs), glycidyl esters (GEs)) have been established by JECFA and EFSA. Consequently, the European Commission has modified the Contaminants Regulation for GEs and it is still working on 3-MCPDs’.
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