1. Camelina oil – most of you know olive oil is a heart healthy oil to use. Soon you will be seeing Camelina oil on store shelves. It is made from a seed from the mustard family and has a nutty, light flavor. Some may refer to it as wild flax or false flax. It was a common oil grown in Eastern Europe and Russia in the 1940’s before it was replaced by other crops. It is becoming popular in the US and farmers in Montana now grow it. A blogger (Julie) noted a farmer in Minnesota produces and sells Camelina oil. “A few months ago, Deanne and Francine blogged about a new oil they'd discovered in their quest for Minnesota produced or grown products. Camelina Oil is produced from the Camelina plant by a farmer in Lamberton. I'd just mentioned to Tim we should see if we can visit the farm and purchase some oil. As I was saying goodbye to Deanne, I noticed the Camelina Oil for sale on their counter.”
Why is Camelina oil healthy? For one it has the heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It also provides high levels of vitamin E, it helps reduce the bad LDL – cholesterol. It is also good for cooking as it can withstand high cooking temperatures (a smoke point of 475 degrees).
2. Advantame – A new artificial sweetener – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new artificial sweetener, called “Advantame”. It is a derivative of the current aspartame. You will find it as a white, crystalline powder. One can use it in cooking as unlike some artificial sweeteners, it is stable at high temperatures. So you could use it in place of white table sugar at the table or when cooking. But it is sweet, 20,000 times sweeter than white table sugar. You may read labels and find it in food products. Manufacturers may use it to reduce the sugar used in foods and use some sugar and some Advantame.
What other artificial sweeteners are approved by FDA?
- Saccharin (Sweet’N Low)
- Aspartame (Equal)
- Sucralose (Splenda)
- Neotame (Newtame)
- Acesulfate potassium or ace-K (Sweet One)
Another sugar substitute currently on the market is Stevia. It is not “artificial” as it is made from the leaves of a plant. Some countries have used stevia for years, like Japan. The US actually banned Stevia in the early 1990’s unless manufacturers labeled it a dietary supplement. As of 2008, FDA approved refined stevia on the GRAS list or Generally Recognized As Safe. I buy stevia as Truvia. Like artificial sweeteners, stevia has no calories and is sweeter than sugar, about 200 times sweeter.
So watch your store shelves and read the ingredients on labels as you soon may be seeing Camelina Oil and Advantame. You may see Advantame in baked goods, candies, puddings, jam, toppings, syrup.
Sources: Stevia FAQ, FDA Approves New Artificial Sweetener, Camelina Oil Alternatives, Environmental Nutrition, Sept. 2014. Image Source: Camelina Oil From Minnesota