From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Trans Fats
Mains level : Health issues over consumption of Trans Fats
- Trans fat also called the worst form of fat in food, responsible for over 5,00,000 deaths globally from coronary heart disease each year.
- It could be eliminated from the industrially produced global food supply by 2023 if the World Health Organization (WHO) has its way.
- The WHO has partnered with the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) to achieve this target.
Regulatory action by WHO
- The commitment made by the IFBA is in line with the WHO’s target to eliminate industrial trans fat from the global food supply by 2023.
- Of particular note was the decision by IFBA members to ensure that the amount of industrial trans fat in their products does not exceed two grams per 100 grams fat/oil globally by 2023.
About Trans Fats
- Trans fat, also called trans-unsaturated fatty acids or trans fatty acids, is a type of unsaturated fat that occurs in small amounts in nature, but became widely produced industrially from vegetable fats starting in the 1950s.
- It is used in margarine, snack food, packaged baked goods, and for frying fast food.
- 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.
- Artificial Trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
- Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods.