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Our Goal is to Ban the Use of Synthetic Trans Fats by 2022, says FSSAI

Prity Barman
Prity Barman
Edible Oil
Edible Oil

As per the policy, on and from 1 January 2022, all food goods in which edible oils and fats are used as a component shall not contain industrial trans fatty acids more than 2% by weight of the total oils or fats present. 

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the country's highest food regulator, which has recently published trans fatty acid regulations, intends to restrict industrial trans fats in all fats and oils to no more than 2% by January 2022.  By January 2021 not more than 3%, and not more than 2% by January 2022, the law mandates that synthetic trans fatty acids be limited of all fats and oils. 

In accordance with regulations, all food products in which edible oils and fats are used as an ingredient shall not contain industrial trans fatty acids greater than 2% by weight of the total oils or fats contained in the product on and from 1 January 2022. 

Second Amendment Regulations 2021, the gazette was advised last week regarding Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales). 

‘India joins the club of about 40 countries worldwide with the introduction of new regulations on trans fats, which have already adopted best-practice policies to remove trans fats and will be among the first countries in Asia since Thailand to achieve best-practice policies on the removal of trans fats,’ FSSAI said in a statement on Tuesday. 

By adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils, industrial trans fatty acids (iTFAs) or trans fats are developed to make them stable, which improves their stability at room temperature and prolongs shelf life. In partly hydrogenated vegetable fats/oils, vanaspati, margarine and bakery shortenings, trans fats are primarily present and can be found in baked and fried foods. 

Analysis has shown that higher intakes of trans fatty acids provided by industry are correlated with an increased risk of heart failure and high cholesterol. According to 2017 figures, coronary heart disease causes at least 1.5 million deaths per year in India, about 5 percent of which are attributed to the consumption of trans fats. The law bans trans fatty acids from dairy, beef, fish and their products. 

In 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) ha called for the removal of trans-fats produced by industry from food sources by 2023. 

‘In order to promote the transition towards a food supply free of Trans Fatty Acids, FSSAI is also developing industry capabilities and has recently concluded a series of webinars on trans fats in this regard. Every webinar was scheduled to address particular stakeholders based on their problems to make a change to trans-fat-free goods and to offer realistic technical solutions through national and international expert talks,’ FSSAI said. 

Nearly 3,700 participants from the edible oil industry, food companies, bakers, chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers, sweet and namkeen farmers, food researchers from food analytics labs and academic institutions engaged in the webinars. 

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