The European Union has adopted a regulation to curb the amount of trans fat in products like snack food as part of efforts to fight heart disease and strokes in the region.
European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, adopted a regulation to amend a key regulation of the European Parliament as regards trans fat, other than trans fat naturally occurring in fat of animal origin, on 24 April 2019.
The EC set the limit at two grams of industrially produced trans fats per 100 grams of fat in food with effect from April 2, 2021.
Also called trans fatty acids, trans fats are a particular type of unsaturated fatty acids. EU defines trans fats as “fatty acids with at least one non-conjugated (namely interrupted by at least one methylene group) carbon-carbon double bond in the trans configuration.”
Some trans fats are produced industrially. The primary dietary source of industrial trans fats is partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils generally contain saturated and unsaturated fats, among them trans fats in variable proportions, with trans fats ranging from a few up to more than 50%, according to the production technology used.
Trans fats can also be naturally present in food products derived from ruminant animals such as dairy products or meat from cattle, sheep or goat.
The regulation also requires wholesalers to notify retailers of any food that contains more than 2 grams of trans fat limit.
“The measure aims at protecting consumers’ health and providing Europeans with healthier food options,” the Commission said in a statement.