Spanish food producer Grupo SOS has spent some €1m (US$1.18m) developing a healthier oil which the company believes is about to pay massive dividends.

SOS Cuetara (formerly SOS Arana Alimentacion), the company’s biscuit and confectionery subsidiary, already uses the new oil in some 90% of its biscuit products, and the company is now negotiating with a number of unnamed multinational companies to sell them the oil.

Chairman Jesus Ignacio Salazar told journalists gathered in Madrid yesterday [Monday] that the oil was expected to generate revenue in the region of €60m in the 12 months to June 2005, with EBITA worth some €9m, reported Reuters.

The oil has high levels of monounsaturated fats and lower levels of less healthy polyunsaturated and saturated fats. It is stable and suitable for use in biscuits, breads and pastries, and probably other prepared foods, Salazar said.

Ascencion Marcos, chairwoman of the Spanish Nutrition Association, which is investigating the nutritional effects of the oil, backed up Salazar’s claims, saying: “Concern about the consumption of fat is very high […] we have started analysis of the oil and it really looks very good.”