The Chinese part of the
worldwide chicken empire KFC on Wednesday assured diners their
chicken was fried in unhydrogenated palm oil. This follows a
promise made by the company's US division to stop using artificial
KFC Corp (China) said it cooks its fried chicken in the
healthier natural oil which doesn't contain harmful trans fatty
acids. However, they are found in the artificial cooking oils used
by KFC in the US.
"We're very glad to hear that KFC (United States) has changed to
frying oil without trans fatty acids," KFC (China) said in a
statement on Wednesday.
According to the statement, "All KFC products meet the national
food safety standard. KFC also has a special office for food safety
to ensure customers' health."
Apart from promising the company's products met safety standards
the statement also advised diners to adopt a balanced, diverse diet
and to avoid overeating.
The Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision,
Inspection and Quarantine has made no comment on KFC's cooking
methods but has said it will look into the matter.
Business in Beijing's KFC restaurants appeared to continue as
usual. "I only eat at KFC occasionally so I don't worry too much
about its impact on my health," said a woman customer. "I think
KFC, as a famous brand, will take measures to prevent harmful
ingredients being used," she added.
The National Food Quality Supervision and Inspection Center has
drawn up a national standard for trans fatty acids in food. It's
been submitted to the Standardization Administration of China for
An expert from the center was quoted by the Beijing News as
saying trans fatty acids haven't yet been listed as a daily
examination item for lack of a national standard. "Palm oil might
also contain traces of trans fatty acids but not to the extent that
can damage health," the expert said.
In recent weeks KFC outlets in New York and Chicago have started
cooking their chicken in new oil which has less fatty acids than
the artificial oil they previously used. This follows claims their
food increases the risk of heart disease.
Trans fatty acids, also called trans fats, are produced in the
process of hydrogenation of plant oils. According to the US Food
and Drug Administration eating trans fats raises low-density
lipoprotein levels--so-called bad cholesterol--and increases the
risk of coronary heart disease.
(China Daily November 2, 2006)