That’s That For Trans Fat

Source: US Food and Drug Administration

Source: US Food and Drug Administration

If you haven’t noticed, trans fats have become a prominent public health enemy, with “No Trans Fat!” and other related sayings gracing the cover of many food products out there. The reason? A trendy health fad? Not quite.

The AP reports: “Trans fats are widely considered the worst kind for your heart, even worse than saturated fats, which also can contribute to heart disease. Trans fats are used both in processed food and in restaurants, often to improve the texture, shelf life or flavor of foods.”

The growing concern about trans-fats has recently been addressed by the FDA. According to the BBC, “The FDA is opening a 60-day consultation period on the plan, which would gradually phase out trans fats” qualifying that: “The ruling does not affect foods with naturally occurring trans fats, which are present in small amounts in certain meat and dairy products.”

The change is a potential final nail in the coffin of artificial trans fats: one that has been pursued vigorously by the medical community, nutrition groups, and others. What does this mean to consumers and producers? The FDA hopes to create a transition that hopefully does not negatively and overtly impact the market. The 60-day consultation period is aimed at collecting “additional data and to gain input on the time potentially needed for food manufacturers to reformulate products that currently contain artificial trans fat should this determination be finalized.” In fact, many companies have phased out these partially hydrogenated oils in the last several years. Still, trans fats do show up in numerous food products on the market, including margarine and microwave popcorn, amongst others.

So what does the forecast look like to you? Will the industry be able to adapt quickly? Food processors, how will it affect your production? To make your voice heard check out this link where you can submit comments during the 60-day consultation period. This consultation period concludes on January 7, 2014.

A Picture of Mathew J. Bartkowiak, Ph.D.

About Mathew J. Bartkowiak, Ph.D.

Laboratory Products Department Manager, Nelson-Jameson, Inc.
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