An order-aligned with international food regulations -has been issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to gradually eliminate industrial trans fat, which contributes to most heart disorders and other related diseases causing at least 28 lakh deaths.
As per the order, bakeries, sweet shops and other food outlets can use the logo "Trans Fat Free" on their products or for display only if their products contain 0.2 gm or lesser trans fat per 100gm of food.
The country's food safety regulator said that it will soon issue orders to further reduce the trans fat content in fats and oils used in food products. Currently, the trans fat content is limited to 5%. However, the regulator plans to reduce it to 3% by 2021 and to 2% by 2022, moving towards a zero-trans fat regime in years to come.
"We are committed to eliminate industrial trans fat in a phased manner and these are steps in the direction. The order is broadly aligned with international standards. Now that many food operators have started using other oils which do not contain trans fat, we feel it is important to differentiate in order to encourage such best practices," FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal said.
Globally, several high income countries have virtually eliminated industrially-produced trans fats through legally imposed limits on the amount that can be contained in packaged food.
In India, the use of trans fat free logo is voluntary.
However, the regulator has made it binding on food business operators to comply with the regulations. "Food establishments are encouraged to use healthier fat/oil options, thereby reducing the trans fat content in the foods," the FSSAI said in an order issued recently.