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About Trans fat

Context:

According to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), five billion people globally are exposed to harmful trans fat, which is increasing their heart disease and death risk.

Relevance:

GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Trans fat
  2. Initiatives to Reduce Trans Fat Intake:

About Trans fat

  • Trans fat, or trans-fatty acids, are unsaturated fatty acids that come from either natural or industrial sources.
  • Naturally-occurring trans-fat comes from ruminants (cows and sheep).
  • Industrially-produced trans-fat is formed in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil converting the liquid into a solid, resulting in “partially hydrogenated” oil (PHO).
  • Partially hydrogenated oils (PHO) are solid at room temperature and prolong the shelf life of products. They are primarily used for deep frying and as an ingredient in baked goods.
  • Although trans fats are edible, consuming trans fats has been shown to increase the risk of coronary artery disease in part by raising levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, often termed “bad cholesterol”).

Initiatives to Reduce Trans Fat Intake:

National Level:

  • Foods Standards and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) launched a “Trans Fat-Free” logo for voluntary labeling to promote TFA-free products.

Global Level:

  • World Health Organisation launched a REPLACE campaign in 2018 for global-level elimination of trans-fats in industrially produced edible oils by 2023.

-Source: Down to earth


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