Food establishments can now voluntarily use a government “Trans fat free" logo in their outlets and food products, if they are complying with the Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, 2018.
For using the logo, the restaurants or food manufacturers should be using trans-fat free fats/oil and do not have industrial trans-fat more than 0.2g/100g of food, as per the FSS Act. “Trans fats are the worst type of fats with known health risks. India is committed to eliminate it from the food supply and is progressing towards its objective of trans fat elimination by 2022; a year ahead of the global target by World Health Organization (WHO)," Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said.
Industrial trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid, and to increase the shelf life of foods. Trans fat are largely present in partially hydrogenated vegetable fats/oils, vanaspati, margarine and bakery shortenings, and can be found in baked and fried foods.
In its efforts towards curbing use of trans fats, the apex food regulator, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), under ministry of health and family welfare, also had launched “Heart Attack Rewind", campaign to educate consumers on the harmful effects of trans fat and reduce its acceptability in foods.
“We aim to reduce the industrially produced trans fatty acids to less than 2% by the year 2022 in a phased manner. This is in line with our objective to get Freedom from trans fats - ‘India@75; Freedom from Trans Fats’," Pawan Agarwal, CEO FSSAI said.
According to government estimates, globally, industrial trans fat intake leads to more than 540,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease every year and in India the figure reaches to 60,000 number.