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FSSAI slashes limit for transfat levels in foods

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

FSSAI slashes limit for transfat levels in foods:


Context:

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) 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.

Background:

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.

Need for:

Transfats are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and death from coronary heart disease.

  • 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 transfats by 2023.

What are Trans fats?

  • Trans fatty acids (TFAs) or Trans fats are the most harmful type of fats which can have much more adverse effects on our body than any other dietary constituent.
  • These fats are largely produced artificially but a small amount also occurs naturally. Thus in our diet, these may be present as Artificial TFAs and/ or Natural TFAs.
  • Artificial TFAs are formed when hydrogen is made to react with the oil to produce fats resembling pure ghee/butter.
  • In our diet the major sources of artificial TFAs are the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVO)/vanaspati/ margarine while the natural TFAs are present in meats and dairy products, though in small amounts.

fats

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are trans fats?
  2. Why they are harmful?
  3. How and where they are produced?
  4. What is the permissible limit set by WHO and FSSAI?
  5. Replace Campaign is related to?
  6. About FSSAI.

Mains Link:

What are Trans fats? Why are they harmful? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.