Consumer VOICE Survey On Trans Fat In Foods
50% of sample food products have not met the draft standard – Consumer Voice Survey
On 28th August 2019, FSSAI issued a draft notification that said, “Food Products in which edible oils and fats are used as an ingredient should not contain trans fatty acids more than 2 per cent by weight of the total oils/fats present in the product, on and from 1st January 2022.”
To carry forward the survey on trans fat in the prepared foods in Delhi markets, a total of 59 samples were purchased and tested in October and November 2019. Testing for total fat and trans fat was done in the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited Lab.
Food samples were collected from Lajpat Nagar, Panjabi Bagh, Kamla Nagar, Chandini Chowk and Laxmi Nagar in Delhi.
The survey tested samples of Samosa, Jalebi, Soan Papdi, French Fries, Fried Chicken, and Chicken Fry.
Trans Fat Test Results
|Food Type||Sample Size||%of Transfat of Sample/Total fat of sample(Below 2%)||%of Transfat of Sample/Total fat of sample(2-5%)||%of Transfat of Sample/Total fat of sample(Above 5%)|
- 50.8 per cent samples (30 out of 59) were below 2 per cent.
- 45.8 per cent samples (27 out of 59) 2 per cent to 5 per cent.
- 3.4 per cent samples (2 out of 59) were above 5 per cent.
In a nutshell, about 50 per cent samples have not met the 28th August 2019 draft notification requirement.
What is Trans Fat?
Trans fat, also called trans-unsaturated fatty acids or trans fatty acids, is a type of unsaturated fat.
Sources of Trans Fat
There are two sources of trans fat, such as:
- Trans fat formed naturally: This type of trans fat is produced in the gut of some grazing animals (such as cattle and sheep). Trans fat formed naturally is found in small amounts in some animal products, such as meats and dairy products.
- Trans fat formed artificially during food processing: This type of trans fat is created during a process called “partial hydrogenation” in which hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oil to make it more solid, and therefore more resistant to becoming spoiled or rancid. The process generally does not make the oil completely solid, resulting in “partially” hydrogenated oils.
Harmful Effects of Trans Fat on Human Health
Trans fat increases the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol and decreases the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol in the blood — which, in turn, can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Consumption of trans fat increases the risk of high blood pressure leading to hypertension. Trans fat also increases the chance of Type 2 diabetes.
WHO’s Action Plan on Trans Fat
On May 14 2018, WHO released REPLACE (Trans Fat-Free by 2023), a step-by-step guide for the elimination of industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply. REPLACE provides a six-step action package for the global elimination of trans fat. These six steps are:
- Review dietary sources of industrially-produced trans fats and the landscape for required policy change.
- Promote the replacement of industrially-produced trans fats with healthier fats and oils.
- Legislate or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially-produced trans fats.
- Assess and monitor trans fats content in the food supply and changes in trans fat consumption in the population.
- Create awareness of the negative health impact of trans fats among policymakers, producers, suppliers, and the public.
- Enforce compliance of policies and regulations.
FSSAI’s Action Plan for the Elimination of Industrially-Produced Trans Fat
In December 2018, FSSAI issued Draft Notification “Food Safety and Standards (Food Products and Food Additives) Amendment Regulation, 2018” which proposed reduction of trans fat as follows:
“It shall not contain trans fatty acids more than 5 per cent by weight, provided that maximum limit of trans fatty acid shall not be more than 3 per cent by weight, on and from 1st January, 2021 and not more than 2 per cent by weight on and fro1st January, 2022” in a) Interesterified vegetable oil / fat, b) Partially Hydrogenated Soyabean Oil, c) Margrrine and Fat Spreads and d) Hydrogenated vegetable oils (VANASPATI).
On 28th August 2019, FSSAI issued draft notification which states as:
“Food Products in which edible oils and fats are used as an ingredient shall not contain trans fatty acids more than 2 per cent by weight of the total oils/fats present in the product, on and from 1st January 2022.”