Curious About Peanut Oil?
Since our Founder and Chairman Truett Cathy created the Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich in the early 1960s, we have used only refined (heat processed) peanut oil to pressure cook our chicken. Truett found it to be the purest oil available and more healthful and better tasting to customers than other oils. Chick-fil-A's use of peanut oil is communicated on packaging, menu boards, nutrition guides and this Website.
Our peanut oil is a high-temperature, heat-processed, fully refined peanut oil (refined, bleached and deodorized). This means the proteins in the oil are stripped out during the processing. According to the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, highly refined oils "do not demonstrate a hazard to allergic individuals1". There have been many well-designed studies to test the effect of highly refined oils on allergic individuals, and the majority of these "support the position that refined oils are safe for the food allergic-allergic population to consume1."
Also, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation, highly refined (heat solvent extracted) oils are "non allergenic2."
The following excerpt comes from the International Food Information Council2:
Myth: Since I'm allergic to peanuts, I can't eat anything with peanut oil.
Reality: There are many misunderstandings regarding exactly what might stimulate the food allergic reaction. "Virtually all food allergens are proteins," explained Steve L. Taylor, Ph.D., co-director of the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "And, the process of refining oil removes the protein which would trigger an allergic reaction." Oils used in processed foods and in cosmetics are highly refined and should pose no problem for the food allergic individual. Yet, caution should be taken with natural, cold pressed or flavored oils. These oils, as well as oil that has been used to cook peanuts (or another food to which an individual might have an allergy), might contain the protein of the allergen and should be avoided. For example, an individual with a fish allergy should ensure that the oil used to cook his or her food was not first used to fry fish.
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration states highly refined oils, such as our peanut oil, are not considered a "major food allergen," and therefore do not have to be labeled as such4.
As with any health concern or question, we recommend that you review this information with your physician before making your decision about whether peanut oil is safe for your personal consumption.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans4 recommend limiting your intake of saturated and trans fatty acids, with most of your fat intake coming from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Peanut oil has no trans fat, no cholesterol, is low in saturated fat, and has a good balance of healthy unsaturated fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats). Studies have shown that mono and polyunsaturated fats help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Our Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich has 3.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 5g polyunsaturated fat and 7g monounsaturated fat.
Please contact the following organizations for general allergen information. Please note: The companies listed cannot provide nutritional information on our products.
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)
11781 Lee Jackson Highway, Suite 160
Fairfax, VA 22033
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Hefle, SL, Taylor SL. Allergenicity of Edible Oils, Prepared for: Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils Inc. September 1, 1998.
Used with permission from International Food Information Council Foundation Publication — Questions and Answers About Food Allergy. Available at: http://www.foodinsight.org. Accessed August 31, 2010.
Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. Available at http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/allergens/ucm106187.htm
Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Available at:http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2000/document/frontcover.htm. Accessed July 23, 2004.
1. Hefle, SL, Taylor SL. Allergenicity of Edible Oils, Prepared for: Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils Inc. September 1, 1998.
2. Used with permission from International Food Information Council Foundation Publication — Questions and Answers About Food Allergy. Available at: http://www.foodinsight.org/Food_Allergy_Resource_Page Accessed August 31, 2010.
3. Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. Available at http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/allergens/ucm106187.htm
4. Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Available at:http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2000/document/frontcover.htm. Accessed July 23, 2004.
NOTE: Chick-fil-A does not verify the accuracy of the content contained in any of the preceding websites or referenced materials.