Ingredient overhaul

Ingredient overhaulNew medical reports, changing food culture and even red tape have been sweeping the ingredient production industries in recent months, changing the way we eat and what we eat across Australia.

Which oil is best? Vegetable oil could certainly be the worst, say scientists. After bacon and other processed and cured meats took a hit from the World Health Organisation as being a contributing factor to cancer, it seems vegetable oil is in the same boat. Scientists are now reporting that frying in vegetable oil potentially releases hundreds of harmful toxins into food. Heating vegetable oils to high temperatures (such as those in
a commercial kitchen) releases chemicals known as aldehydes, which can contribute to cancer, dementia and heart disease.

“People have been telling us how healthy polyunsaturates are in corn oil and sunflower oil,” says Professor Grootveld, of De Montfort University in Leicester, after running these experiments. “But when you start
messing around with them, subjecting them to high amounts of energy in the frying pan or the oven, they undergo a complex series of chemical reactions which results in the accumulation of large amounts of toxic compounds.”

Scientists are now recommending that frying should be done in butter, olive oil or coconut oil, endorsing even lard as a better option that vegetable oils. Whilst this research has been conducted for years it is only now coming to the attention of diners. Restaurateurs will have to wait and see how this new research affects diners’ habits.   

Meanwhile, Peta’s famous bunny of approval could soon be endorsing something quite different—Guinness. The famous Irish beer brewer has announced that from the end of 2016, its beer will be following the latest food trend and going vegan. Its current filtration process uses isinglass—a gelatinous substance made from fish bladders—to remove excess yeast and other unwanted coagulations. While only trace amounts appear in the final product, the filtration process is still a commonality.

“Isinglass has been used widely within the brewing industry as a means of filtration for decades,” said a statement from Guinness. “However, because of its use we could not label Guinness as suitable for vegetarians and have been looking for an alternative solution for some time.” 

Locally, David Blackmore’s fight to keep his world class Wagyu herd in the Goulburn Valley has come to an end. The famous farmer has withdrawn his zoning application to Victoria’s Planning Minister, seeking approval for intensive animal production. The continual council battles have taken a toll on the farmer who will now be handing over production to his son and daughter as the cattle are moved interstate.

The issues began when new neighbours moved next door, and began to complain to the local shire council over noises and truck deliveries. Murrindindi Council ruled that Blackmore needed to upgrade his permit to continue farming. After two years of red tape battle in an attempt to gain the permit that was refused by the council Blackmore has decided to retire from the fight.

Chef Neil Perry, who uses Blackmore’s Wagyu in his restaurants, was sorely disappointed by the closure. “I just think it is incredibly sad that bureaucracy and a couple of ratbag neighbours have driven the world’s best practice Wagyu farming out of the area,” Mr Perry lamented.

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