GNC on Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) and Vanillin

GNC on Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) and Vanillin

To Our Valued Customers:

The confectionery landscape has seen a steady shift away from Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) over the last few years. Previously, PHOs were used to enhance shelf-life and stability of flavor in some of our favorite baked goods and snacks. However, this once widely-accepted practice in the food industry is now being altered due to the identification of trans-fats, and their harmful effects on today’s consumer.

Why should we avoid trans-fats? According to the Mayo Clinic, trans-fats have a harmful effect on consumer’s cholesterol levels by creating Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL). “LDL, the “bad cholesterol”, can build up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow.” These deposits can tear/rupture causing blood clots, which can further lead to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.

In order to protect the future health of consumers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will soon rule on the banning of PHOs in the food industry. As such, we at Georgia Nut Company are proactively taking steps to eliminate all PHOs from our products.

Will the products I purchase from Georgia Nut Company be impacted by the FDA’s ruling? The expected FDA ban will apply only to PHOs, as they are the primary driver of trans-fat consumption. Below you will find a list of confectionery products we produce on a regular basis. This will outline which categories will be impacted, and how we plan on transitioning away from PHOs in the near future.

  1. Dark Chocolate Products – No. Dark chocolate does not contain any PHOs.
  2. Milk Chocolate Products – No. Milk chocolate does not contain any PHOs.
  3. Yogurt Products – No. Our yogurt coating contains Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil (PKO), not PHOs.
  4. Compound (Cocoa & Peanut Butter) Products – Yes. Some of our compound coatings currently list PHOs on their ingredient decks. Our suppliers of compound coatings reviewed their oil supplier specifications and found some oils currently labeled as partially hydrogenated are actually hydrogenated, and can be labeled as such. Based on this determination, we will be making the necessary changes to our labels. The FDA’s ruling on PHOs does not ban the use of Fully Hydrogenated Oils.
  5. Toffee/Nut Products – Yes. Some of our toffee and nut products utilize a blend of butter and partially hydrogenated shortening to add sheen and keep the product free flowing.   This will be replaced with a combination of butter and lecithin to maintain both flavor and functionality.Over the next few months, we will be providing all of our customers with a more detailed timeline on the transition, and list of stock items that are impacted by this change. Our sales team will be reaching out to all appropriate parties to provide updated documentation in a timely manner. If an item you purchase does appear on this list, and you are not contacted, please contact your Sales Rep immediately for updated documentation. Any customers who purchase a custom item will also be contacted by their Sales Rep to discuss these changes in more detail.

Are there any other changes that are being implemented by Georgia Nut Company? Yes. We have also received numerous requests to eliminate artificial flavoring from many of our stock items. Therefore, we will also be replacing all coatings that contain vanillin, an artificial flavoring, with vanilla. This will occur concurrently with the transition to eliminate all PHOs. Similar to the transition of PHOs to Fully Hydrogenated Oils, our Sales Reps will notify you if an item of yours is impacted.

What should I do if I have additional questions? We understand that this transition may require additional questions to be answered by our team, and we are prepared to address any questions you may have on this issue. You are more than welcome to contact your Sales Rep at anytime for further clarification. Our R&D Manager and Regulatory Manager will also be available to answer any questions customers might have regarding any specific item numbers. Their contact information will be provided as we finalize our transition timeline.We want to thank all of our customers for their continued business, and look forward to making our products more consumer friendly in the years to follow.


Georgia Nut Company


“High Cholesterol.” Trans Fat: Avoid This Cholesterol Double Whammy. Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.