FSSAI slashes limit for trans fat levels in foods
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance
- 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.
- The FSSAI notified the amendment on December 29, more than a year after it issued a draft on the subject for consultation with stakeholders.
- The revised regulation applies to edible refined oils, vanaspati (partially hydrogenated oils), margarine, bakery shortenings and other mediums of cooking such as vegetable fat spreads and mixed fat spreads.
- While the regulation comes into effect immediately, industry players were made to take a pledge back in 2018 that they would comply with WHO’s call for action to reduce TFA by 3% by 2021 allowing them three years to comply with the latest regulation.
- It was in 2011 that India first passed a regulation that set a TFA limit of 10% in oils and fats, which was further reduced to 5% in 2015.
- Trans fats, or trans-fatty acids, are a form of unsaturated fat. They come in both natural and artificial forms.
- Trans fats are associated with increased risk of heart attacks and death from coronary heart disease.
- As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 5.4 lakh deaths take place each year globally because of intake of industrially produced trans fatty acids. The WHO has also called for global elimination of trans fats by 2023.