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Singapore eateries divided on trying healthier oil option

Businesses welcome HPB subsidy but concerns such as cost and taste persist

Published on Jul 17, 2014 9:20 AM
Chicken rice seller Niven Leong, who uses groundnut oil in his dishes, is among those who will consider switching to a healthier option. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Hawkers and restaurants welcomed a move by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to subsidise a healthier palm-canola oil mix in principle but also expressed worries about switching to the unfamiliar blend.

Some 30 hawkers and restaurants The Straits Times spoke to cited concerns such as affordability, frequency of deliveries and even details such as the oil's smoking point.

The Straits Times reported on Monday that HPB would be spending millions a year on subsidies to absorb the price difference between palm oil and a healthier palm and canola oil mix, which costs 20 per cent to 30 per cent more. The canola mix is lower in saturated fat - something that raises the risk of heart disease and which seven in 10 Singaporeans consume too much of.

HPB aims to get 20 per cent of food outlets to make the switch by 2020.

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