- January 17, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Context: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) reduced the permissible limit of trans fatty acids (TFA) in oils and fats to 3% for 2021 and 2% by 2022, against the earlier cap of 5%.
- The amendment was brought through an amendment in Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations.
- It applies to edible refined oils, vanaspati (partially hydrogenated oils), margarine, bakery shortenings, and other cooking media like vegetable fat spreads and mixed fat spreads.
- WHO had called for a global elimination of industrially produced TFAs by 2023. It brought a step-by-step guide called ‘REPLACE’ to help countries frame policies.
- Denmark became the first country to ban TFAs in 2003 after threat of non-communicable disease started getting attention in world.
Are all fat bad?
- All-natural fats and oils are a combination of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids or trans fatty acids. Our body needs the first two categories of ‘healthy’ fats as apart from being a major source of energy, they help absorb some vitamins and minerals and build cell membranes and the sheaths surrounding nerves.
- Saturated fatty acids on the other hand are considered harmful as it clogs arteries and result in hypertension, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular issues.
- Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, causing over 1.8 crore deaths every year. The WHO estimates that over 5 lakh people with cardiovascular issues die globally every year due to the consumption of industrially produced TFAs About Trans Fats:
- These are saturated fats produced from vegetable oils. They are commonly used in baked and fried foods as well as adulterated ghee, which becomes solid at room temperature.
- There are of two types Natural and Artificial trans fats. Artificial trans fats are man-made fats produced through a chemical process called hydrogenation (Hydrogenation is a process in which a liquid unsaturated fat is turned into a solid fat by adding hydrogen).
- Hydrogenation is used in industry increase their shelf life, and for use as an adulterant as they are cheap.
- Naturally-occurring trans fats can be found in many animal products, including milk and meat.
Why India needs to take urgent action?
- As per FSSAI, about 77,000 deaths take place annually in India due to TFAs.
- Last year, 11 of the 15 countries that account for two-thirds of deaths linked to trans fats still needed to act. These were Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iran, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Republic of Korea.
- Challenge as implementation is the state subject.