Israelis will eat some 32 million donuts during the forthcoming Hannuka holiday, and as a result will absorb about a million litres of oil – over and above their normal consumption – according to Prof Sam Saguy, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot.

Using figures from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics and from private institutes, it is estimated that Israelis will consume an average of some 22 commercially produced donuts per household during the holiday, with sales totaling US$13m. To this, according to the researcher, must be added the production and consumption of homemade donuts. The use of cooking oil, even weeks before the holiday, amounted at that period to 12,500 tonnes, 3,500 tonnes more than the usual consumption.

By Aaron Priel, correspondent