FSSAI to Reduce Hydrogenated Trans Fats In Indian Food

FSSAI to Reduce Hydrogenated Trans Fats In Indian Food

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) campaign aims to reduce trans fats to 2% eventually eradicating it from the Indian food system

The FSSAI is focused on reaching the 2% level of trans in food by 2022, in line with World Health Organization (WHO) programme called Replace. The FSSAI initiated several programmes for this purpose, which includes sensitizing the industry that uses these trans fats as emulsifier for various products, especially in the baking industry. The trans fats pose severe threat for a healthy diet system. CEO FSSAI Pawan Agarwal reported that the industry agrees to eliminate the trans fats and it would look for alternatives for manufacturing products.

FSSAI notes that the industry is quite positive about this and working towards necessary alterations in machinery, raw material, and labor. Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) are the main source of industrially-produced trans fats. These oils are most frequently found in – baked and fried foods – prepared or pre-packaged snacks – fried street and restaurant foods. Heating and frying oil at high temperatures leads to modest increases by 3.67 g/100g and by 3.57 g/100g respectively while there is no evidence that other cooking methods, e.g., baking, boiling and grilling, lead to increased trans fats concentrations.

WHO recommends that total TFA intake be limited to less than 1% of total energy intake, which translates to less than 2.2 g/day in a 2,000 calorie diet. According to a WHO report, India has been reported to contain 6% to 30% iTFA i.e., exceeding recommended limit of 2% of total fatty acids. Existing regulation recommend that maximum limit of trans fat, should not be more than 5% by weight in interesterified vegetable fat/oil, bakery and industrial margarine, vanaspati and bakery products.

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