The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) have quashes negative tags which were increasingly associated with Frytol vegetable cooking oil perceived to contain cholesterol.
The producers of Frytol and Millicent rice, Wilmar Africa rebranded Frytol, the most dominant cooking oil in the country rebranded Frytol as cholesterol free vegetable oil to quell the negative tag on the brand.
Speaking at the relaunch of Frytol, the Vice President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Frank Siribour said they have endorsed Frytol as the best vegetable cooking oil with no amount of cholesterol.
He noted that they as a Medical Association highly recommend Frytol for consumption after careful examination of the content which has been fortified with vitamin A.
Dr. Serebour who made a presentation on “Optimizing Your Cholesterol Levels,” indicated that the human body synthesizes about 75percent of its cholesterol needs whilst 25percent is derived from external food sources such as meat, dairy products and many processed foods.
He added that high cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart diseases, heart attack and stroke.
“Persons with cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity must have their cholesterol level checked and managed appropriately,” the Vice Prez of GMA stated.
He urges adults to have their blood cholesterol level checked at least once a year to mitigate any possible attack.
The Head of Food Industrial Support Services Department of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ebenezer Kofi Essel noted that vegetable oils have negligible amount of cholesterol.
“We want to state the fact that vegetable oil does not contain Cholesterol that will have any negative impact on the consumer. Rather animal product people consume contains higher levels of cholesterol,” he stated.
He indicated that Frytol and any other vegetable oil are safe for human consumption because of its nutritional benefits it offers to consumers.
“The fact we are saying vegetable oils are fortified with vitamin A, it means we are increasing the nutritional state of the vegetable oils with sunflower oils and others. Once you see the fortification on Frytol it means that FDA can testify that it is fortified with vitamin A,” Mr. Essel intimated.
He added that the production of Frytol starting from the procurement of raw materials, the refinery process, preservation, storage and transportation is safe and clean.
According to him, the responsibility of the Authority is to ensure that products churn out to the markets conforms to the internationally best safety standards.
He indicated that one of the cooking practices Ghanaians must avoid is the repetition of cooking oil which appears to be an issue of poverty than people being conscious with their health.
“It is the high temperatures you subject the oil to completely drains the vitamin A component in the oil and therefore it is wrong for people to use the oil to fry fish and plantain several times,” Mr. Essel bemoaned.
He indicated that the Authority will soon begin a public campaign against bad cooking practices and eating habits to a lifestyle that will improve the health and wellbeing of Ghanaians.
The General Manager of Wilmar Africa Limited, Kwame Wiafe noted that the negative tag has not affected their sales volumes directly but showed a trend which could affect future sales and therefore required some mitigating measures.
He posited that Frytol has always been cholesterol free but a market research revealed that some consumers were increasingly associating cholesterol to the brand insisting that in marketing, perception is reality once people keep having that perception in their minds.
“Occasionally for old brand like Frytol, we need to remind people that the benefits that we offer them are still intact. This is also cure negative perception because we realized that people were increasingly associating cholesterol issues with some cooking oils and since we are the most predominant oil on the market, by inference, was tag as one. So we needed to re-launch and state the fact that Frytol is refined vegetable oil refined through a mechanical process without any chemical. Frytol is completely free from cholesterol and the fat content is 0.01percent which is far lower than any natural oil fortified with Vitamin A,” the General Manager emphasized.
Mr. Wiafe added that ever since they tookover the entire production from Unilever in 2010, they have more than double the production from 200metric tonnes to 1000metric tonnes per day due to the huge investment in modern technology.
“The production of the oil starting from the plant field to the refinery takes two weeks. The raw materials are cultivated in Ghana and processed in our refinery here in Ghana. We have a refinery capacity of 1000 metric tonne per day and currently the total fresh vegetable oil we obtain from Ghana is not more than 30percent of our refinery capacity which means we have to import fresh oil from neighboring countries and the far East to feed our refinery,” he stated.