Food regulator FSSAI said on Tuesday that regulations to limit the content of trans fats in all food products had been notified.
“With the publication of recent regulations to limit the content of trans fats in all food products, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) joins the league of several other countries around the world with best practice policies to eliminating trans fats, ”the regulator said. in a report.
India joins the club of about 40 countries around the world that have already adopted best practices for eliminating trans fats and is said to be among the first countries in Asia after Thailand to have the best elimination policies in place. trans fats, he said.
Under the regulation notified on December 29 of last year, the FSSAI said it was limiting industrial TFAs (trans fatty acids) to no more than 3% in all fats and oils by January 2021 and not more than 2% by January 2022.
The second amendment to the Food Safety and Standards Regulation 2021 (ban and restrictions on sales) was notified earlier this month.
This regulation states that all food products in which edible oils and fats are used as an ingredient must not contain industrial trans fatty acids more than 2 percent by mass of the total oils / fats present in the product, as of January 1, 2022..
It also defines industrial trans fatty acids as: “All geometric isomers of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids having unconjugated carbon-carbon double bonds, interrupted by at least one methylene group, in trans configuration. It excludes trans fats. acids in dairy products, meat, fish and their products.
Industrial trans fats are produced by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them solid, increasing their stability at room temperature and extending their shelf life. Trans fats are widely present in partially hydrogenated vegetable fats / oils, vanaspati, margarine, and baked goods shortenings. They are found in baked and fried foods.
“Research has shown that higher intakes of industrially produced trans fatty acids (more than 1% of total energy intake) are associated with an increased risk of high cholesterol and heart disease,” said the FSSAI.
According to 2017 estimates, over 1.5 million deaths in India are attributed to coronary heart disease each year, of which nearly 5% (71,000) are due to trans fat intake.
The elimination of industrial TFAs has been recognized as one of the modifiable risk factors for preventing heart disease.
“This is especially important in the current scenario, when COVID -19 increases the risk for people with co-morbidities such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, etc. “, he added.
In 2018, the WHO called for the elimination of industrially produced trans fats from the food supply by 2023 and released a “REPLACE” action plan for the same.
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