States told to verify compliance to trans fatty acid limit notification
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) through a recent notification has asked states to inspect and verify compliance to the notification revising maximum limit set for transfatty acids in oils and fat products.
Through a notification dated August 4, 2015, FSSAI had revised maximum limit of trans fatty acids to be not more than five per cent in interesterified vegetable oil/fat, margarine and fat spread and hydrogenated vegetable oils from the previous ten per cent by making amendments to the FSS (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.
The apex regulator had extended the timeline for compliance of the notification up to February 27, 2017, through a direction issued on August 2016.
Special inspection drive
Since, the deadline for the compliance is already over, FSSAI has advised commissioners of food safety of all the states and Union Territories (UTs) to take up a special drive to inspect the units manufacturing and processing edible oil, particularly those that manufacture and process oils on a large scale.
As per the draft, the commissioner needs to furnish details on action taken report regarding compliance of the notification, data on transfatty acid in interestified vegetable fat/oil, margarine and hydrogenated vegetable oils, report from food business operators (FBOs) on the technological changes, if any, carried out to bring down transfatty acids within the five per cent limit.
A senior official from FDA Maharashtra said, “We haven’t received the notice, yet but any order given out by the apex regulator is always followed. We will definitely hold a special drive and urge FBOs to comply as per the limit set for the transfatty acids and submit the report to FSSAI on the mentioned date.”
The furnish detailed report must be sent to FSSAI by September 30, 2017. Trans-fats are formed upon the hydrogenation of vegetable oils to make them into vanaspati. Globally, the consumption of trans-fats through the cooking medium or ultra-processed junk foods is strongly linked with non-communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases.