FDA ruling on Trans-Fats

FDA released its’ final determination that Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) are not Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). The determination is based on extensive research into the effects of PHOs, as well as input from stakeholders during the public comment period.

PHOs are the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods. In FDA view, removing PHOs from processed foods could prevent thousands of heart attacks and deaths each year.

Implementation

FDA has set a compliance period of three years. This will allow food companies to either reformulate products without PHOs and/or petition the FDA to permit specific uses of PHOs. Many companies have already been working to remove PHOs from processed foods and the FDA anticipates that many may eliminate them ahead of the three-year compliance date.

It’s important to note that trans fat will not be completely gone from foods because it occurs naturally in small amounts in meat and dairy products, and is present at very low levels in other edible oils.

The FDA encourages consumers seeking to reduce trans fat intake to check a food’s ingredient list to determine whether or not it contains partially hydrogenated oil.

Background

In January 2006, FDA required the food industry to declare the amount of trans fat in food on the Nutrition Facts label. FDA data indicate that many processed foods have been reformulated to reduce the amount of trans fat since the requirement was instituted, but a substantial number of products still contain PHOs.

One of FDA’s core regulatory functions is ensuring that food, including all substances added to food, is safe. In November 2013, FDA made a preliminary determination that PHOs are not “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use in food. FDA opened a 60-day public comment period on this measure to solicit data and information on a number of issues, including:

1. Whether FDA should finalize its tentative determination that PHOs are no longer GRAS;
2. How long it would take producers to reformulate food products to eliminate PHOs.

The comment period was then extended an additional 60 days and closed March 8, 2014.

The final determination was released June 16, 2015. This determination is based on extensive research into the effects of PHOs, as well as input from all stakeholders received during the public comment period (see Final Determination Regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils, June 2015).

To learn more about trans fat, see also the FDA Trans Fat page.

EU Situation

In EU art. 30.7 of the FIC Regulation (“Food Information to Consumers” Reg. (EU) n. 1169/2011) says that “by 13 December 2014, the Commission, taking into account scientific evidence and experience acquired in Member States, shall submit a report on the presence of trans fats in foods and in the overall diet of the Union population. The aim of the report shall be to assess the impact of appropriate means that could enable consumers to make healthier food and overall dietary choices or that could promote the provision of healthier food options to consumers, including, among others, the provision of information on trans fats to consumers or restrictions on their use. The Commission shall accompany this report with a legislative proposal, if appropriate.”

Today the report has not been submitted yet and the Commission has been deeply criticized, especially from consumers associations for the unexpected delay. As a matter of fact in this situation is not even possible to declare voluntary the trans fat value in the EU format of the nutrition declaration (while in USA is mandatory from 2006).

Here below, you can find the definition of Trans fatty acids (TFA) and the advice given by EFSA in a 2010 Scientific Opinion:

“Trans fatty acids are not synthesised by the human body and are not required in the diet. Therefore, no Population Reference Intake, Average Requirement, or Adequate Intake is set. Consumption of diets containing trans-monounsaturated fatty acids, like diets containing mixtures of saturated fatty acids, increases blood total and LDL cholesterol concentrations in a dose-dependent manner, compared with consumption of diets containing cis-monounsaturated fatty acids or cispolyunsaturated fatty acids. Consumption of diets containing trans-monounsaturated fatty acids also results in reduced blood HDL cholesterol concentrations and increases the total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio. The available evidence indicates that trans fatty acids from ruminant sources have adverse effects on blood lipids and lipoproteins similar to those from industrial sources when consumed in equal amounts. Prospective cohort studies show a consistent relationship between higher intakes of trans fatty acids and increased risk of coronary heart disease. The available evidence is insufficient to establish whether there is a difference between ruminant and industrial trans fatty acids consumed in equivalent amounts on the risk of coronary heart disease. Dietary trans fatty acids are provided by several fats and oils that are also important sources of essential fatty acids and other nutrients. Thus, there is a limit to which the intake of trans fatty acids can be lowered without compromising adequacy of intake of essential nutrients. Therefore, the Panel concludes that trans fatty acids intake should be as low as is possible within the context of a nutritionally adequate diet. Limiting the intake of trans fatty acids should be considered when establishing nutrient goals and recommendations.”

 

Frutarom Health BU Announces a Move into Omega-3 – New Omega-3 line for food fortification and dietary supplementation

Frutarom Switzerland Ltd., Health BU Switzerland, announces its entry into the omega-3 market with high quality and deodorized DHA and EPA marine-sourced omega-3 ingredients designed for a variety of food & beverage applications and dietary supplements.

EPA and DHA omega-3 are vital nutrients that help every cell in the body to function optimally. However, the major problem most consumers face is that they are not getting enough EPA and DHA in their diets, due to the lack of intake of foods rich in omega-3. A major study in the US showed that low dietary omega-3 fatty acids contributed significantly to the risk of death from a range of health conditions such as heart attack or stroke.

Numerous studies confirm the beneficial effects of omega3 for multiple health indications such cardiovascular health, brain development and cognitive performance, eye health, inflammation and general well-being.  While this nutrients are vital across a range of consumers, there are key categories such as infant development, and healthy aging where a supplements containing omega-3 merit second consideration.Frisches Brot

“As the leading provider of specialty fine ingredients, flavors and savory solutions, Frutarom has excellent access into the food and beverage industries, enabling it to help food manufacturers fortify food with omega-3,” explains Holger Riemensperger, General Manager of Frutarom Health. “Thanks to Frutarom’s expertise, we can easily implement the new line into any food matrix, such as dairy, bakery, baby food, cereals, oils, confectionary, beverages etc. It is both deodorized and without any negative impact on the taste.”

The number of new food and drinks products marketed as containing omega 3 fatty acids has risen significantly in recent years, according to Innova Market Insights’ research, nearly trebling over the 2007 to 2013 period. The share of these types of products rose from 1.5% of total food and drinks launches tracked globally in 2011 to 1.6% in 2012, with a further rise to 1.9% evident for 2013. Baby foods was the leading category for omega 3 claims in 2013, accounting for 17.8% of tracked products.

“This step combines Frutarom’s two great strengths of strong market access and deep experience in science-based health ingredients, and follows the company’s strategic move last year into the functional food market,” notes Riemensperger. “Omega-3 perfectly fits the Health Business Unit strategy of focusing on scientifically proven, high quality health ingredients.”

The new omega-3 line is produced using the latest technology and controlled sourcing of high-end raw materials. The new line also includes omega-3 high concentrates for use in dietary supplements, allowing a higher concentration of DHA and EPA content, and thus a smaller size of soft gels, making it easier to take.