FSSAI is committed to eliminating industrial trans-fats in fats and oils and foods containing fats and oils in a phased manner. The food regulatory authority has recently issued an order stating that bakeries, sweet shops and other food business operators which uses trans-fat free fats and oils and do not have industrial fats more than 0.2g per 100g of food can voluntarily display ‘trans fat free’ logo on food products and in their outlets.
The order also states that it will be the responsibility of the food business operators to comply with the requirements as specified in the Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations 2018.
FSSAI is running a campaign to limit the maximum amount of industrial trans fat in fats and oils to 2% as part of its goal to make India ‘trans fat-free’ by 2022. It has already limited trans-fat content in fats and oils to 5% and the notification to further reduce it to 3% by 2021 and 2% by 2022 is under process.
FSSAI also says that industrial trans-fats are toxic compounds that are one of the main reasons behind cardiovascular and other related diseases. They are formed during hydrogenation of vegetable oils and other processes such as heating of oil at high temperature and bakery shortening and in Vanaspati.
The regulator has released an indicative dimension for trans-fat free logo. However, the dimension is only indicative. It can be increased and decreased in the same proportion.
According to WHO, the increased intake of trans fat is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease mortality and events. Every year, all across the world the access intake of trans fat leads to more than 500,000 premature deaths from coronary heart disease. REPLACE action package offered by WHO also provides a strategic approach to eliminate industrially trans fat from the global food supply by 2023.