In August 2015 the FSSAI had revised maximum limit of trans fatty acids to not more than 5% from the previous 10% in interesterified vegetable fat and oil, margarine and hydrogenated vegetable oils by making amendments to the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation 2011. The FSSAI had extended the timeline for the compliance of the same up to 27 February 2017.
The timeline for compliance for a maximum limit of trans fatty acids to be not more than 5% in Interesterified Vegetable Fat/Oil, Margarine and Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, is well past. Therefore, the FSSAI through a recent notification dated 24 August 2017, has advised the Commissioners of Food Safety of all States and UTs to take up a special drive to inspect the units that are manufacturing or processing edible oil, especially those that manufacture or process oils on a large scale. This step has been advised with a view to verifying compliance of the maximum limits of trans-fatty acids in the above-mentioned fat and oil products.
The Food Safety Commissioners will need to furnish the following details
- Action Taken Report regarding compliance with maximum limits of trans-fatty acids
- Data on Trans-fatty acids in interesterified vegetable fat/oil, margarine, and hydrogenated vegetable oil
- Report from FBOs on the technological changes, if they have made any, which were required to bring down the trans-fatty acids within 5% maximum limit.
The States/UTs have to furnish the detailed report to the FSSAI by 30 September 2017.
Trans fatty acids health concerns
Non-communicable diseases are on the rise in India and consumers have been advised to reduce the consumption of trans-fatty acids and junk foods by their doctors. Global studies have revealed that consumption of trans-fats through the cooking medium is linked to the increase in cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and diabetes. Concerned about the rising health concerns the FSSAI in its capacity, has therefore reduced the maximum limit of trans-fatty acids to 5% in hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine and fat spread and interesterified vegetable fat.