Insights in Nutrition and Metabolism

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Review Article - Insights in Nutrition and Metabolism (2022) Volume 6, Issue 3

Trajectory of trans-fats in India - from regulations to reality

Trans fatty acids intake is associated with the risk of cardio vascular diseases morbidity and mortality. The industrial trans fats are produced by the hydrogenation of vegetable oils or generated in trace amounts during deodourisation of oils. In India, vanaspathi, bakery shortening and margarine are the primary sources of trans fats. The Indian cuisines contain as high as 40% trans-fat. The popularity of trans fats in Indian food is mainly due to their low price, longer shelf life and organoleptic characteristics. Following the guidelines from World Health Organization (WHO) stating that trans fats are nutritionally unnecessary and should be completely eliminated from our food supply chain to avoid the risk of CVD, several countries have taken swift actions to implement the same. Strategies involving policy reforms and introduction of regulatory standards have been brought in place to keep a check on this problem. The global target is to achieve zero trans fats by 2023. However, there are several hurdles that may require immediate attention to reach this goal. Primary challenges include finding the right alternative to trans fats with safe history, as they are completely embedded in our food systems. Other challenges are handling the price points of reformulation of existing products and most importantly sensitizing the consumer about the adverse effects of trans fats and the necessity to make an informed choice. The elimination of trans fats from our food eco system may be a hard road but an amalgamation of industry compliance, government support and consumer awareness can make the target of zero trans-fat world a near future.

Author(s): Usha Rani T, Anwar Basha D, Raghavendra P, Shahida Md, Usha Sree A, Saritha B, Sreenivasa Rao J*

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