Transfats edge closer to extinction after EU ruling

The long campaign to rid food products of industrial transfats has scored another victory after the EU regulated to set a maximum limit for their use in foods.

Food manufacturers will have until 1 April 2021 to ensure products comply with the limit of 2 grams of industrially produced transfats per 100 grams of fat in food intended for the final consumer and for the supply to retail.

It marks the latest stage on a long road to phasing out the use of transfats – unsaturated fatty acids that can be produced from vegetable fats for use as a cheap ingredient in products like baked goods, fried foods, margarines and spreads.

Transfats have been targeted by policy makers for removal from the food supply chain due to their link to cardiovascular disease.

The EU Commission said the new measure aims to protect consumers’ health and provide Europeans with healthier food options.

Product reformulation efforts by the food industry have meant the vast majority of Europe's food and drink sector has successfully eliminated industrial transfats to the point where they are no longer considered a source of public health concern in the EU.

Trade body FoodDrinkEurope is now calling for mandatory labelling requirement for hydrogenation to be deleted as part of the next round of regulation updates arguing that such labelling will now be redundant.

The current legislation prescribes that transfats must be described as “fully” or “partly” hydrogenated on the label.

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