The Relationship between the Labelling of Fats in Savoury Food and its Impact on Health
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Background – Diet has a significant impact on health and the labelling of food has the potential to affect the composition of the diet consumed by the general public. The accuracy of food labelling and the impact of dietary habits therefore play a vital role in public health implications. Diet is also largely affected by the price of food as it can be a barrier for healthy eating among low-income households. Consumers can attain information about the food they intend on buying from food labels, and health considerations are a major driving force for reading the labels. Fat is a very important aspect of the diet as numerous fat related diseases exist that can be greatly modified via the diet. Aim- The aims of this investigation are to establish whether there is a relationship between the fat content of food and price. It will also investigate the accuracy of food labelling for fat for different food types. Method- Two-food analysis laboratory methods were used in this investigation. Firstly the Soxhlet method of extracting fat was be used. Soxhlet is a common method used to extract lipids from foods; it involves continuous extraction with petroleum ether. The second method used was the Iodine Number of a fat; this method was used in order to find the degree of saturation of the fat extracted. Results- With a p.value of <0.001 there was a significant relationship between the fat content of the data and that found from food analysis; the fat content was higher on the labels. There was a significant relationship between the mean fat content g/100g and price range; the price of food did affect the fat content (p.value <0.001) but didn’t affect the saturated fat content (p.value=0.550). Different food types affected saturated fat (p.value <0.001) but not fat content g/100g (p.value=0.430). Conclusions- Main findings included; the fat content g/100g determined through food analysis was different to that stated on the packet, and all data from food analysis showed lower values for fat content than stated on the packet. The price of food affected the fat content of food, with the finest range being highest in fat and the light range being lowest. Price did not affect the saturated fat content of the food. Type of food did not affect the g/100g of fat but did affect the saturated fat content.
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