Johnson and Wales University, RI Removing Trans Fats from Student Dining

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Johnson and Wales University, RI, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Announced on 11/27/07

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Karl Guggenmos, university dean of culinary education, announced today that Johnson & Wales University (JWU) will eliminate the use of artificial trans fats from its culinary and baking & pastry curricula, student dining services, as well as its owned and operated hotels and commercial bakeshop by the spring of 2008.

JWU Curriculum to Use New, Healthy Ingredients
"We made a conscious decision two years ago, after much debate, to work our way out of artificial trans fats," said Guggenmos, during a recent panel discussion about 'Adapting to Regulatory and Social Change' at the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York."It opened up a whole area of issues because we then had to find products that we could use to teach our students with.The biggest problem was our baking and pastry programs, which require certain amounts of stable fats to produce frostings and so on.Thankfully, the manufacturers have been very supportive, and we have been provided new products."

JWU's College of Culinary Arts committed to an increase in its operating budget to purchase substitute foods and ingredients free from artificial trans fats for its '07-'08 curriculum and beyond.

JWU Dining Facilities to Be Trans Fat Free
In addition to its revised curriculum, JWU has pledged to remove artificial trans fats from meals served in university dining centers on its four campuses in Providence, R.I., North Miami, Fla., Denver Colo., and Charlotte, N.C., as well as from its owned and operated hotels and commercial bakeshop, which serve as training facilities for students enrolled in its College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality College.

While artificial trans fats are more easily replaced in cooking oils, the food service industry has more recently introduced suitable, trans fat free replacement products for baking and pastry recipes that require shortening and frostings.In turn, faculty and staff at JWU's College of Culinary Arts have successfully reformulated all of the recipes included in its proprietary baking & pastry textbook, with the revised, printed version to be available to students starting in September 2008.

In very few instances, students enrolled in the culinary and nutrition programs at JWU's College of Culinary Arts will work with artificial trans fats as they are trained to recognize the difference in food preparation and results, as well as its chemical differences when compared to substitute products.However, students will not consume any foods containing artificial trans fats.

Trans Fat Research Conclusive
"Numerous research studies have conclusively documented the significant negative health implications associated with the consumption of artificial trans fats," said Guggenmos."Therefore, as a leading educator of future chefs and executives of the food service and hospitality industries, we feel it is our responsibility to replace artificial trans fats with alternatives that provide an equivalent quality of taste and consistency."He added that he believes artificial trans fats will be removed entirely from the consumer food chain within a few years

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