India’s food regulator, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), plans to reduce the level of trans fats in food items from the permissible limit of 5 per cent to 3 per cent.

An FSSAI draft notification cited by Hindustan Times said: “India is committed to the elimination of industrial trans fats in fats/oils and in foods containing fats/oils in a phased manner. The trans fat content in fats and oils has already been limited to 5 per cent, and the notification to further reduce it to 3 per cent by 2021, and to 2 per cent by 2022 is under process. The regulation is also being extended to food products having fats or oils.”

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The gazette notification released on December 29 stated that the level of trans fats in oils and fats will not be beyond 3 per cent from January 1, 2021, onwards. The level shall be further reduced to 2 per cent by January 1, 2022, onwards.

Trans Fat — Beware the silent killer

Negative health effects

Trans fat is a form of unsaturated fat associated with a number of negative health effects.

Industries use trans fats as they are feasible, inexpensive to produce, and last a long time. Trans fats give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers, according to the American Heart Association.

Other countries that have restricted or banned the use of trans fats by food establishments include Denmark, Switzerland, and Canada.