FSSAI Caps Trans Fats in Foods

Recently, rules have been amended by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to put cap on trans fatty acids (TFAs) in the food products.  This decision was taken one week after it amended the norms for oils and fats.

Highlights

  • Under the new regulations, in the food products which comprises of the edible oils and fats as an ingredient the total amount of the industrial trans fats should not exceed 2% of the total oils or fats present in the product.
  • This regulation will be applicable from January 1, 2022. 

Background

FSSAI, in December 2020, had capped the amount of the TFAs in oils and fats to 3% that needed to be done by 2021. It has also capped it to 2% by 2022 from the present level of 5%.

What is Trans-fat?

The acids which are created in an industrial process by adding hydrogen to the liquid vegetable oils in order to make them more solid is called the Trans-fat. Addition of the Trans-fat in to the fat increases the shelf life of food items.  They are highly used as adulterant as they are very cheap. Trans-fats are present in baked, fried and processed foods. It is also present in adulterated ghee that becomes solid at room temperature. Such fast are considered as the most harmful form of fats since they clog the arteries. Its intake can cause the hypertension, heart attacks and several other cardiovascular diseases.

WHO data on Trans-fat

World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that, around 5.4 lakh deaths happen each year globally as a result of the intake of the industrially produced trans fatty acids. The WHO aims to eliminate the industrially-produced trans fatty acids from the food supply by 2023.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

It is an autonomous body that works under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.  It was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.  The body is responsible for protecting and promoting the public health by the regulation and supervision of food safety. It is headed by a non-executive Chairperson. The chairperson is appointed by the Central Government. Currently, Rita Teaotia is the Chairperson for FSSAI and the current Chief Executive Officer is Shri Arun Singhal.

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