Benecol is a brand of food products owned by Finnish company Raisio Group. The brand is marketed by Raisio Group, McNeil Nutritionals and Cilag GmbH International in more than 30 countries [cite web
url =
title = Yearly results raise Raisio expectations
author = Food
date = 2008-03-14
accessdate = 2008-04-08
] . The first Benecol product was margarine that was brought to market in Finland in 1995. Today, the product line includes margarines, spreads, yoghurts, yoghurt drinks, cereals, milk and soy drinks, pasta and olive oil. Because of regulatory issues, the availability of different products varies in different countries.

Benecol products are Functional foods intended to reduce dietary cholesterol.The active ingredients are plant stanol esters.Several studies show that stanol esters lower cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of Coronary heart disease (CHD) [cite web
url =
title = Efficacy and Safety of Plant Stanols and Sterols in the Management of Blood Cholesterol Levels
author = Katan et al.
date = 2003
accessdate = 2008-04-08
] cite web
url =
title = Functional Foods Fact Sheet: Plant Stanols and Sterols
author = IFIC
date = July 2007
accessdate = 2008-04-08
] . Anti-cancer health effects have also been suggested in some studies.

Raisio Croup licences the Benecol brand and sells the Benecol active ingredient to food companies worldwide [cite web
url =
title = Take your pick for a healthier diet
author = High Tech Finland
date = 2005
accessdate = 2008-04-08
] . Stanol ester is manufactured in two factories, one in Raisio, Finland, another one in Summerville, South Carolina, USA.

Benecol spread

Benecol spread, as marketed in Finland, is a low fat product containing 32% of fat.The main source of fat is rapeseed (canola) oil. Rapeseed oil contains high amount of unsaturated fatty acids and only 7% of saturated fatty acids [cite web
url =
title = Fats, Cooking Oils and Fatty Acids
author = NutriStrategy
date = 2005
accessdate = 2008-04-19
] , which is one of the lowest among the commonly used vegetable oils. Because of this, U.S. Food and Drug Administration have given canola oil "qualified health claim" status for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease [cite web
url =
title = Qualified Health Claims: Letter of Enforcement Discretion - Unsaturated Fatty Acids from Canola Oil and Reduced Risk of Coronary Heart Disease
author = US Food and Drug Administration
date = 2006-10-06
accessdate = 2008-04-19
] . A variety of Benecol spread that contains olive oil is available, too.

Recently, the recipe has been improved by adding camelina oil (from "camelina sativa"). Camelina oil contains exceptionally high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. The oil is also rich in natural antioxidants.


External links

* [ Benecol official site]
* [ Homepage of Raisio]

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