Trans-Fatty Acids (TFA)

Trans-Fatty Acids (TFA)

News: Five billion people globally are exposed to harmful trans-fat, increasing their heart disease and death risk, according to a new report “Countdown to 2023” by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

What are TFA?
• TFAs are unsaturated fatty acids that are of two types – Naturally occurring trans-fat occurs in some dairy and meat products and Industrially produced trans-fat adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more soli. It is found in packaged foods, baked goods, cooking oils and spreads.

Key Findings:
• Trans fat intake is accountable for up to 500,000 early deaths from coronary heart disease annually.
• Nine countries — Australia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan and the Republic of Korea — of the 16 nations with the highest estimated percentage of coronary heart disease fatalities attributed to trans-fat consumption do not currently have best-practices strategy.
• Two best-practices policy options that can be opted are as follow:
• Mandatory national limit of two grams of industrially produced trans-fat per 100 grams of total fat in all foods; 
• Mandatory national ban on the production or use of partially hydrogenated oils (a major source of trans fat) as an ingredient in all foods.
• TFAs pose a higher risk of heart disease than saturated fats – they raise total cholesterol levels, and reduce the good cholesterol (HDL), which helps to protect one against heart disease.
• It is also associated with a higher risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, infertility, and certain types of cancersand can also lead to compromised fetal development causing harm to the yet-to-be-born baby. 

What are steps taken by India to regulate TFA?
• FSSAI launched a “Trans Fat-Free” (as seen in the picture) logo for voluntary labelling to promote TFA-free products in shops for preparations containing TFA not exceeding 0.2 per 100 g/ml.
• Campaign “Heart Attack Rewind” to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fat in the food supply by the year 2022.
• FSSAI limits the content to not more than 2% by mass of total oils and fats from January 2022.
• Swasth Bharat Yatra, an initiative started under the “Eat Right” campaign is a Pan-India cyclothon to engage citizens on issues of food safety, combating food adulteration and healthy diets. 
• Eat Right India campaign initiated by FSSAI. 
• Globally, the TFA REPLACE strategy was initiated by WHO. 

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