Thiruvananthapuram: As part of its effort to eliminate trans-fat consumption in the state, the Kerala Commissionerate of Food Safety has constituted a special committee comprising food safety officers, representatives of World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank and Vital Strategies, a global public health organisation. The committee will frame guidelines and help implement the revised standards of percentage of transfat in edible oil, ghee, vanaspati, margarine and bakery shortening by less than 2 percent in the state.
The authorities are planning to launch a mass campaign to educate the food business operators and the public on the ill-effects of transfat consumption. A top official of the Commissionerate said that they will be providing all technical help for the manufacturers for cutting down transfat. "The committee will monitor the level of transfat in the oil. Our aim is to make available transfat- free food items for the public. We cannot enforce this overnight but only in a phased manner," said the official.
The Commissionerate is planning to give alternatives for hydrogenated oil. "Hydrogenation of oil should be banned and more cost-effective and healthy alternatives should be introduced. We have to explore this area. The transfat level in man of the leading branded products sold in the country is very low," said the official.
Many European countries have set the maximum limit for TFA at two percent of the total fat content in oils and fats. The current permitted level of transfat is 5 percent in India. The WHO (World Health Organisation) has urged governments across the world to eliminate the use of trans fats from global food supplies by 2023.