Industry News | October 8, 2009

Arby's Operator Eliminates Fatty Oils

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While many restaurant chains, including Arby’s, have made the switch to trans fat–free cooking oils, one Richmond, Virginia, company is taking healthy eating to the next level by eliminating even more bad fats from its menu and offering healthier items to its guests.

The Restaurant Company announced that it converted all 19 of its Arby’s restaurants in the Richmond-Petersburg area to Nutra-Clear NT, part of the Omega-9 Oils family. Compared to other zero trans fat oils, Omega-9 Canola Oils, developed by Dow AgroSciences and produced by Bunge, are healthier because they not only have zero trans fat, but they also have the lowest saturated fat among cooking oils. Omega-9 Oils also are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated (omega-9) fat.

“Trans fats are bad news,” says Richard Ripp, president of The Restaurant Company, “but eliminating trans fats was only the first step. The American Heart Association says both trans fat and saturated fat increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, so we didn’t want to just substitute one bad fat (trans fat) for another (saturated fat). That’s why we’ve switched to an oil that has the lowest level of saturated fats. And, even better, Nutra-Clear NT is uniquely high in monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats have been proven to be heart-healthy, reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes.”

Noting the health advantages of the new oil, Ripp calls the company’s decision to switch “one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.” Ripp notes that the other deciding factor in switching was the fact that the oil didn’t change the taste profile of the menu items. “Since we made the switch a few weeks ago, not a single guest has commented about any difference in the great taste of our products,” he says. “I’m proud that we can offer our valued guests the same great tastes, without a lot of the bad fats.”

One of earliest franchisees, Ripp joined the Arby’s family as a franchisee just four years after Arby’s was founded in 1964. The Restaurant Company operates five of the top 10 performing Arby’s in the country. A leader and innovator in the Arby’s system, Ripp was among the first to add french fries to the Arby’s menu and was the creator of many Arby’s sandwiches that are still found on menus today.

After extensive testing of the oil, Ripp converted all of his Arby’s restaurants in the Richmond-Petersburg area to Nutra-Clear NT cooking oil from Bunge Oils last month.

The new oil is made from naturally bred NEXERA canola seeds developed by Dow AgroSciences. These Omega-9 Oils are the “next generation” in cooking oils due to their features of superior taste, health and performance. In addition to being great tasting, having zero trans fat, and being lowest in saturated fat, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that, “limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 1/2 tablespoons (19 grams) of canola oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in canola oil. To achieve this possible benefit, canola oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.”