From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Trans-Fat
Mains level : Trans-Fat related health hazards
The limit of trans-fats to be not more than 5% is prescribed under Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 for vanaspati, bakery shortenings, bakery and industrial margarine and interesterified vegetable fats/oils.
What are Trans Fats?
- Artificial Trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
- Since they are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time, and give foods a desirable taste and texture, they are still widely used despite their harmful effects being well-known.
Why this move?
- Studies have recently shown that 60,000 deaths occur every year due to cardiovascular diseases, which in turn are caused due to high consumption of trans fats.
- Since the impact of trans fats on human health is increasing exponentially, it is very important to create awareness about them.
Standards for Trans-fats
- A draft notification to limit trans-fat to be not more than 2% by weight of the total oils/fats present in the processed food products in which edible oils and fats are used as an ingredient on and from 1st January, 2022 was issued on 28.08.2019.
- Standards prescribed under various regulations of FSSAI are enforced to check that they comply with the standards laid down under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and the rules and regulations made thereunder.
- In cases where the food samples are found to be non-conforming, recourse is taken to penal provisions under Chapter IX of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.