हिंदी साहित्य: पेन ड्राइव कोर्स
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Science & Technology

Trans Fatty Acids

  • 04 Jan 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has capped the amount 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 2011.

  • The Regulations deal with the prohibitions and restriction on sales of various food products, ingredients and their admixtures.

Key Points

  • The revised regulation applies to edible refined oils, vanaspati (partially hydrogenated oils), margarine, bakery shortenings, and other mediums of cooking such as vegetable fat spreads and mixed fat spreads.
  • As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 5.4 lakh deaths take place each year globally because of intake of industrially produced trans fatty acids.
  • The FSSAI rule comes at the time of a pandemic where the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) has risen.
    • Trans-fat consumption is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
    • Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths.
  • Previously 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.

Trans Fat

  • Trans fatty acids (TFAs) or Trans fats are the most harmful type of fats which can have much more adverse effects on a human body than any other dietary constituent.
  • These fats are largely produced artificially but a small amount also occurs naturally. Thus in our diet, these may be present as Artificial TFAs and/ or Natural TFAs.
    • Artificial TFAs are formed when hydrogen is made to react with the oil to produce fats resembling pure ghee/butter.
  • In our diet the major sources of artificial TFAs are the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVO)/vanaspati/ margarine while the natural TFAs are present in meats and dairy products, though in small amounts.
  • Usage:
    • TFA containing oils can be preserved longer, they give the food the desired shape and texture and can easily substitute ‘Pure ghee’. These are comparatively far lower in cost and thus add to profit/saving.
  • Harmful effects:
    • TFAs pose a higher risk of heart disease than saturated fats. While saturated fats raise total cholesterol levels, TFAs not only raise total cholesterol levels but also reduce the good cholesterol (HDL), which helps to protect us against heart disease.
    • It is also associated with a higher risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, infertility, certain types of cancers and can also lead to compromised fetal development causing harm to the yet to be born baby.
      • Metabolic syndrome includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. The syndrome increases a person's risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Efforts to reduce their intake:
    • National:
      • FSSAI launched a “Trans Fat Free” logo for voluntary labelling to promote TFA-free products. The label can be used by bakeries, local food outlets and shops for preparations containing TFA not exceeding 0.2 per 100 g/ml.
      • FSSAI launched a new mass media campaign “Heart Attack Rewind” to eliminate industrially produced trans fat in the food supply by the year 2022.
        • “Heart Attack Rewind” is a follow-up to an earlier campaign called “Eat Right”, which was launched in July, 2018.
          • Edible oil industries took a pledge to reduce the levels of salt, sugar, saturated fat and trans fat content by 2% by 2022.
          • Swasth Bharat Yatra, an initiative started under the “Eat Right” campaign is a Pan-India cyclothon to engage citizens on issues of food safety, combating food adulteration and healthy diets.
  • Global:
    • WHO launched a REPLACE campaign in 2018 for global-level elimination of trans-fats in industrially produced edible oils by 2023.

Source:TH

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