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|Website||Flora pro.activ (UK)|
Flora is a brand of margarine, sold in the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Portugal, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. It is produced by Unilever and sold in other parts of the world under the brand name of Becel. Unilever came up with the brand after being asked by medical professionals to come up with a healthier alternative to margarine, lard and hard butters.
Claimed health benefits
Unilever market Flora as containing "a blend of healthy fats" including omega-3, omega-6 oils and vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid". The Flora "pro.activ" Cholesterol reducing product contains plant sterols which block (up to 40%) the absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream. Unilever also claim the margarine now contains very little trans-fat and no hydrogenated oils, both of which have been proven to have major health implications.
Flora Light: Typical Values Per 100g: Energy 1459kJ/354kcal.Protein 0.1g. Carbohydrate 2.8g,-of which sugars trace. Fat 38.0g; of which saturates 9.3g, monounsaturates 9.3g, polyunsaturates 19.0g.
Flora contents includes palm oil. The global demand for palm oil is blamed for the loss of tropical hardwood forests which are being cleared for palm oil plantations. This clearance leads to the destruction of orangutan habitat in places such as Borneo and Sumatra. Some food manufacturers have attempted to source sustainable sources of palm oil but these are too few in number and account for about 1% of production.
Flora has stated on its website that they are concerned about the environmental consequence of its use of palm oil and has vowed to procure all its palm oil from certified sustainable sources by 2015.
Flora was invented by a Lever Bros scientific development team headed by Terence O'Neill. It was originally a partially hydrogenated sunflower oil-based spread, different from the current preparation.
Origins of the name "Flora"
Flora was originally named after the wife of one of Unilever's marketing directors, "Louis Flora Catlow". She died on 24 June 2009.
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