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FSSAI reduces permissible level of Trans-Fatty Acids in oils & fats to 3% for 2021

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FSSAI slashes limit for trans fat levels in foodsThe Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released guidelines to reduce the permissible level of Trans-Fatty Acids (TFA) in oils and fats to 3% for 2021 & 2% by 2022 from the current permissible limit of 5%. The change has been brought through an amendment to the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations.

i.The regulation applies to edible refined oils, vanaspati (partially hydrogenated oils), margarine, bakery shortenings & other mediums of cooking like vegetable fat spreads & mixed fat spreads.

ii.TFA is associated with increased risk of heart attacks & deaths from coronary heart disease.

iii.Based on 2017, India has a high burden of heart diseases out of all countries in the world, each year 1.5 Millions deaths take place due to coronary heart disease & 5 % of deaths each year are attributed to TFA intake.

iv.WHO has set a target for global elimination of trans fats by 2023.

Trans Fats:

i.They are a form of unsaturated fat and are of two types – Natural & Artificial Trans Fats.

ii.Natural  fats are formed by Bacteria  whereas  Artificial Trans fats are formed during a process called hydrogenation, a process in which hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to form a semi-solid product called partially hydrogenated oil.

iii.Trans fats are used to give a desirable taste & texture to food.

Key Points:

i.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each year around 5.4 Lakh deaths take place due to intake of industrially produced trans fatty acids.

ii.This is the first step of FSSAI towards fulfilment of the commitment made in 2018 to reduce trans-fats in edible oils and foods.

iii.In 2011, India passed a regulation to set a TFA limit of 10% in oils & fats, which was reduced to 5% in 2015.

Recent Related News:

i.On August 7, 2020, an agreement was signed between CSIR and FSSAI for collaborative research and information dissemination in the area of food and nutrition, during a ceremony which was presided Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

About  Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI):
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Arun Singhal
Headquarters – New Delhi