FSSAI issues notice for eliminating trans fat from edible oil

The unsaturated fats create various health issues

FSSAI has issued a notice to implement the regulations concerned with reducing the amounts of trans fat in oils and fats Photo: Unsplash
FSSAI has issued a notice to implement the regulations concerned with reducing the amounts of trans fat in oils and fats Photo: Unsplash

FSSAI is likely to implement administration of regulations according to the standard of the world health organization to eliminate trans fats from edible oils and fats. 

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is likely to enforce the trans-fat reduction regulation in edible oil and fats in 2022, following the strategic report of 2018. The regulation report states reducing the trans fatty acids (TFA) limit to 3% and 2% in 2021 and 2022, respectively. 

The previously recorded permissible limits of TFA measured up to 5% in food sources such as edible oil. The authority is likely to adhere to the regulations according to the drafted report of 2018. 

FSSAI to follow WHO’s call of action

The food regulatory body of India has issued a notice to the edible oil industries to implement the regulations concerned with reducing the amounts of trans fat in oils and fats. This decision comes from the trans-fat elimination call by the World Health Organization (WHO). As per the statistics issued by the World Health Organization, a whopping 5.4 lakh deaths occur on a global scale with the intake of trans fatty acids in the form of edible oil, vegetable spreads, and bakery fats.  

The intake of trans fats by consuming edible oils and fats is said to intensify the harm caused to various organs in the human body resulting in severe consequences. The unsaturated fats in the form of partially hydrogenated oils (PHO) are harmful as they raise the cholesterol levels in the human body, increasing the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, inflammation, increase in LDL cholesterol, and blood disease. To address the issue, WHO called out its global partners to eliminate chemical trans fats by 2023. 

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Edible oil corporations request FSSAI against the regulation

The industry-based edible oil manufacturers requested the National food authority against the administration of the food safety regulation relating to the trans-fat limits permitted in edible oils, partially hydrogenated oils, and other fats. 

According to the industry executives, the edible oil companies have requested the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) not to force the capping of 3% trans fats from the previously permissible amount of 5% in oils. Therefore, it is noteworthy that the National food body announced the enforcement of the legislation in 2021 with Prohibition and restrictions on sales relating to the amount of TFAs in oils.

The edible oil manufacturers have pointed out the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns as a reason for hampered plans of manufacturing edible oils and fats following the permissible limits specified in the regulation. 

The fluctuations in lockdown have resulted in a shift of focus, making the regulation administration a secondary priority, as stated by the oil companies. It is to be noted that the industry executives were allowed three years to implement and comply with the WHOs regulations to reduce the TFA amount to 3% by 2021. 

Effect of lockdown on the regulation

The strict lockdowns that followed the outbreak of the covid pandemic led to the postponement of food security regulations related to trans fatty acids (TFA). As a result, the food regulatory notified about the amendment of the new regulation as part of Food safety and standards on 29 December, nearly after a year of issuing a draft on the subject. 

The first regulation limiting TFA amount in fats and oils was authorized in 2011 that permitted 10% of TFA. In 2015, the permissible limits dropped further to 5% of trans fatty acids in edible oils and other similar products, including refined oils, vanaspati oils, vegetable fat spreads, magazines, and hydrogenated oils used in bakery products. 

With the global pandemic affecting the food safety standards further during the lockdown, the amendment of the FSSAI notice got delayed. The fatalities in virus-affected patients due to cardiovascular disease and diabetes rose during the pandemic when the FSSAI regulation was issued. This made it necessary that the FSSAI regulation be implemented in all food products in addition to oils and fats. FSSAI is expected to address the elimination of harmful trans fats from all food products by the end of 2022. 

Trans fats can be extremely harmful to the human body when consumed in excess quantities through various food substances. The World Health Organization suggests at most 2 grams of industry-produced trans fats per 100 grams of edible oils, spreads, fats, or other products. According to the analysis, around 40 countries attempt to exclude trans fats according to the specified policies and regulations.


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