FSSAI Slashes Limit For Transfat Levels in Foods


The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has capped the number 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. The FSSAI notified the amendment on December 29, more than a year after it issued a draft on the subject for consultation with stakeholders. Broad spread The revised regulation applies to edible refined oils, vanaspati (partially hydro hydrogenated oils), margarine, bakery shortenings and other mediums of cooking such as vegetable fat spreads and mixed fat spreads.


Trans Fats 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 trans fats by 2023. “The FSSAI rule comes at the time of a pandemic where the burden of noncommunicable diseases has risen. Cardiovascular diseases, along with diabetes, are proving fatal for COVID­19 patients,” says Ashim Sanyal, chief operating officer of Consumer VOICE, adding that the regulation must not be restricted to oils and fats, but must apply to all foods.


It is hoped that the FSSAI will address this as well before January 2022 to eliminate chemical trans-fatty acids from the Indian platter.”  2018 pledge While the regulation comes into effect immediately, industry players were made to take a pledge back in 2018 that they would comply with the WHO’s call for action to reduce TFA by 3% by 2021 allowing them three years to comply with the latest norm. It was in 2011 that India first passed a regulation that set a TFA limit of 10% in oils and fats, which was further reduced to 5% in 2015.


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