Packaged food to be Trans fat-free by 2022: FSSAI

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    • FSSAI has mandated to reduce the limit of industrially produced trans-fat, it must not be more than 2%. 
      • The step has been taken to make the country free from the industrially produced trans fats by the year 2022, a year ahead of the World Health Organisation guidelines.

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    • The FSSAI has capped the amount of trans fatty acids (TFA) in oils and fats to 3% for 2021 and 2% by 2022 from the current permissible limit of 5% through an amendment to the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations.

    What are Trans fats?

    • Trans fatty acids (TFAs) or Trans fats are the most harmful type of fats which can have much more adverse effects on our body than any other dietary constituent.
    • These fats are largely produced artificially but a small amount also occurs naturally. Thus in our diet, these may be present as Artificial TFAs and/ or Natural TFAs.
    • Artificial TFAs are formed when hydrogen is made to react with the oil to produce fats resembling pure ghee/butter. In our diet the major sources of artificial TFAs are the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

                                                         

    WHO guidelines on trans fats

    • The limit of industrially produced trans fats to not more than 2 per cent to make the country free from the industrially produced trans fats by 2022.

    Health implications of trans fats(WHO)

    • Increased intake of trans fat (more than 1% of total energy intake) is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease mortality.

    Trans fat intake is responsible for 5,00,000 premature deaths from coronary heart disease each year around the world.

    Why are TFA’s are increasingly being used?

    • TFA containing oils can be preserved longer, they give the food the desired shape and texture and can easily substitute ‘Pure ghee’. These are comparatively far lower in cost and thus add to profit/saving.

    Efforts to reduce their intake

    National:

    • FSSAI launched a “Trans Fat Free” logo for voluntary labelling to promote TFA-free products. The label can be used by bakeries, local food outlets and shops for preparations containing TFA not exceeding 0.2 per 100 g/ml.
    • FSSAI launched a new mass media campaign “Heart Attack Rewind” to eliminate industrially produced trans fat in the food supply by the year 2022.
    •  “Heart Attack Rewind” is a follow-up to an earlier campaign called “Eat Right”,   which was launched in July, 2018.
    • Edible oil industries took a pledge to reduce the levels of salt, sugar, saturated fat and trans fat content by 2% by 2022.
    • Swasth Bharat Yatra, an initiative started under the “Eat Right” campaign is a Pan-India cyclothon to engage citizens on issues of food safety, combating food adulteration and healthy diets.

    Global:

    • WHO launched a REPLACE campaign in 2018 for global-level elimination of trans-fats in industrially produced edible oils by 2023.

    Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) 

    • It has been established under Food Safety and Standards , 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that handle food related issues in various Ministries and Departments.
    •  FSSAI has been created for laying down standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption

    Source: Tribune