Soon, restaurants to display trans-fat levels in food outside their premises

The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has instructed all eateries and restaurants to display the level of trans-fats in their food substances and cooking oil. They will have to prepare a chart that they will have to display outside their premises

 

Food And Drug Association

Food establishments like bakeries, sweet shops and other food outlets are encouraged to use healthier fat/oil options, thereby reducing the trans fat content in the foods.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Joint Commissioner FDA (Food) Shailesh Adhav said, “The food establishments which uses trans-fat free fats/oils and do not have industrial trans-fat more than 0.2 per 100g of the food in compliance with the regulations on Claims and Advertisements, 2018 can display ‘Trans Fat Free’ logo in their outlets and on their food products.”

The use of the ‘Trans Fat-Free’ logo is voluntary. It will be the responsibility of the Food Business Operators to comply with the requirements as specified in the Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, 2018, in cases wherein a claim to this effect is made.

Industrial trans-fats are toxic compounds that are the cause of cardiovascular and other related diseases. They are formed during hydrogenation of vegetable oils and other processes such as heating of oil at high temperature.

Industrial trans fats are largely present in partially hydrogenated fats such as margarine and bakery shortenings (used in the preparation of bakery products) and in vanaspati (used in the preparation of sweets and deep-fried foods.)

India is committed to the elimination of industrial trans-fats in fats/oils and in food containing fats/oils in a phased manner.

The trans-fats content in fats and oils has already been limited to 5% and the notification to further reduce it to 3% by 2021 and to 2% by 2022 is under process. The regulation is also being extended to food products having fats/oils.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, in order to strengthen its fight against trans-fats and limiting its percentage in food products, has decided to put forth a regulation through an amendment in the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations, 2019.

Earlier, this was a voluntary provision, but with the amendment in the regulation, FSSAI is making it mandatory for the food businesses.

According to experts, trans-fats are considered to be the worst type of fats. A diet laden with trans-fats increases the risk of heart diseases and decreases the good cholesterol in the hydrogenated oil.