Health and cost efficiency As our customers strive to respond to the fast-changing demands of their markets, it has become increasingly necessary for us to meet their needs by developing customized, highly functional products. Many customer demands are inspired by the health trends. Our expertise has enabled us to maintain high functionality while reducing the majority of industrially produced trans fats, believed to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the WHO and the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations: the intake of trans fatty acids should be kept at an absolute minimum as any intake of trans unsaturated fatty acids is related to an increase of LDL (the bad cholesterol) in the blood. the intake of saturated fatty acids should be limited to a maximum of 10 percent of the energy intake because of its increasing effect on total cholesterol compared to unsaturated fatty acids. Cost efficiency is another important trend in our customer demands, either through reduced cost of raw materials or of processing costs. This is driven by a highly competitive market and retailers continuing to challenge the food manufacturers. One of our recent launches – a new concept for puff pastry production – is a great example of a solution which addresses both health and cost efficiency. Responsible growth Responsible growth is a key objective of our AAKtion program and essential to our vision of being the first choice for value-adding vegetable oil solutions. For us, responsible growth is about our responsibility towards all of our key stakeholders – the local communities where we operate, our global customers, employees, investors and suppliers. The foundation of our model for responsible growth is the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and our policies and codes. Driving progress, we work with five focus areas: Marketplace, Supply chain, Environment, Workplace and Community, where we continuously set and deliver on ambitious objectives and benchmarks for our performance, internally and externally. The interaction with customers is based on sound business ethics and a deep understanding of our responsibility for safeguarding customer brands. As a supplier of ingredients for some of the world’s best-known brands, we recognize our role and our customers’ expectations and see these as key elements in the execution of our AAKtion program. What is fat and why do we need it? Fat is essential to life. The many types are divided into four main groups: Saturated fat is found in animal products such as butter, cream, milk, meat and vegetable oils from tropical plants, such as coconut oil and palm oil. Saturated fats are characterized by their ability to remain solid at room temperature. Monounsaturated fat is found in almonds, olive oil, rapeseed oil and other vegetable oils. Monounsaturated fat is suitable for cooking, being more heat-stable than polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fat is found in shellfish, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines, and vegetable oils. Omega-3 and omega-6 are examples of polyunsaturated fats. Trans fats are a particular form of unsaturated fats. They occur naturally in milk and fat from ruminants, but are also formed when vegetable fat is partially hydrogenated. Fat is part of all the cells in the body. Our bodies need fat to produce hormones and other important substances. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble. That means that the body’s ability to absorb these vitamins is dependent on the presence of fat. One third of our daily energy requirements must be met by calories from fat. For adults, this means a daily fat intake of 60–90 grams, each gram containing nine calories. Carbohydrates and proteins contain four calories per gram. Saturated fats and trans fats are believed to increase the level of LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) in the blood, while unsaturated fats have a positive effect on blood cholesterol.
AAK Annual Report 2015
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