FSSAI slashes limit for trans fat levels in foods

FSSAI slashes limit for trans fat levels in foods

News: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has capped the amount of trans fatty acids(TFA) levels in Food.

Facts:

  • What are the new limits? It 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.
  • Applies to: 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.
  • What was the need of these regulations? These regulations come at the time of a pandemic where the burden of non-communicable diseases has risen.Cardiovascular diseases along with diabetes, are proving fatal for COVID-19 patients.

Additional Facts:

  • What are Trans fatty acids(TFAs) or Trans fats? These are unsaturated types of fats which have adverse effects on our body. These fats are largely produced artificially but a small amount also occurs naturally.
  • Types of Trans fats:
    • Naturally-occurring trans fats are produced in the gut of some animals and foods made from these animals (e.g., milk and meat products) may contain small quantities of these fats.
    • Artificial trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Since they are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time, and give foods a desirable taste and texture, they are still widely used despite their harmful effects being well-known.
  • Harmful Effects of Trans Fats:
    • Trans Fats are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and death from coronary heart disease.
    • Trans fats not only increases bad cholesterol but also decrease the good cholesterol level in our body.
    • According to the World Health Organization, approximately 5.4 lakh deaths take place each year globally because of the intake of industrially-produced trans-fatty acids.
    • The WHO has also called for the global elimination of trans fats by 2023.

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