FSSAI capped the limit for trans fat levels in foods.
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) slashes the limit for trans fat levels in food.
- FASSI has capped the number of trans fatty acids (TFA) in oils and fats to 3% for 2021 and 2% by 2022.
- The current permissible limit is 5% and is done through an amendment to the Food Safety and Standards Prohibition and Restriction on Sales Regulations.
- The amendment was notified by FSSAI on December 29.
- The revised regulations are for edible refined oils, Vanaspati which is partially hydrogenated oils, margarine, bakery shortenings and other cooking mediums like vegetable fat spreads and mixed fat spreads.
- Trans Fats are linked with an increased risk of heart attacks and death from coronary heart diseases.
- According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), globally, every year, 5.4 lakh deaths take place due to the intake of industrially-produced trans-fatty acids.
- The WHO called for the global elimination of trans fat by 2023.
- The FSSAI rule came at the time of pandemic where there was an increase in cardiovascular diseases along with diabetes in COVID-19 patients.
- In 2011, India first passed a regulation that set a TFA limit of 10% in oils and fats, and 2015 further reduced it to 5%.
What Are Trans fats?
- Industrially-produced trans fats are notoriously harmful to health.
- Found in almost all processed food, these fats are the major reason for cardiovascular diseases.
- Over the years, due to strict regulations from the governments, trans fats usage has been reduced considerably.
- Trans fats, in essence, are unsaturated fats.
- Though found naturally in meat and milk, natural trans fats do not harm health.
- It is the industrially-produced trans fats in the form of Vanaspathi, vegetable oils and others, are harmful to health.
- Consuming trans fats significantly increases the concentration of bad cholesterol (LDL) thereby leading to the blockage of coronary arteries and heart stroke.
- Though human studies are inconclusive, trans fats can cause insulin resistance and thereby diabetes.
- The change of trans fat limits by FSSAI thus augurs well for the health of the residents of the country.