The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has restricted the permissible amount of industrial Trans Fatty Acid (TFA) in food products to 2 per cent from 2022. An FSSAI notification dated February 2 said the latest amendment of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations, 2011 will come into effect from January 1, 2022.
The permissible limit for trans fats in food products in 2021 is 3 per cent, cut down from the previous limit of 5 per cent. Food products that incorporate edible oils and fats as ingredients, including edible refined oils, vanaspati/partially hydrogenated oils, margarine, vegetable fat spreads, mixed fat spreads, bakery shortenings, fall under the ambit of the newly issued Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2021.
Industrial Trans Fatty Acids, a sub category of unsaturated fatty acids, are processed artificially via a method known as hydrogenation. Unrestricted intake of this type of fat is linked to some very serious health hazards, as they disrupt the balance between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterols in the body. Intake of dietary trans fats often results in coronary heart diseases, heart attacks and type 2 diabetes along with several other associated risks.
The World Health Organization (WHO), which has launched a major campaign to eliminate industrially-produced trans fat from national food supplies by 2023, says trans fat intake is responsible for approximately 500,000 premature deaths from coronary heart disease each year around the world.