EU to limit TRANS fats in foods

The EU Commission has set a binding ceiling for so-called TRANS fats in food. Therefore, the products are ready for consumption must not contain, in the future, more than two percent of this type of fat. Except for foods in which the substances naturally occur – such as meat, Butter or milk.

The scheme is on 2. April 2021 in force, as the authorities in Brussels announced. As long as manufacturers have time to change their recipes and production methods. The decision is the result of a year-long discussion.

TRANS fats occur especially when vegetable oil is partially hardened. For the food industry, this is practical: The process makes products spreadable, creamy and durable. Also, when vegetable Oils are heated over a longer period of time or several times, can form the fatty acids.

The most frequently of artificial TRANS-fats are affected:

  • Foods that have been deep-fried,
  • Margarine,
  • Baked goods such as Croissants, biscuits, waffles, and Berlin,
  • Done, as well as soups and sauces
  • Snacks such as Chips or microwave Popcorn.

The new limits do not mean that consumers have to forego in the future on these foods. Alternative production techniques, as well as a targeted selection of ingredients can reduce the TRANS-fat content considerably.

As harmful as no other ingredient

As early as 1957, researchers showed that TRANS fats vessels with congested blood. The Problem is that The fatty acids increase the level of potentially harmful LDL-cholesterol while lowering the level of the potentially protective HDL-cholesterol. Measured in calories, increased TRANS-the risk for heart disease, fat more than all of the other nutrients, writes the EU in a current info sheet .

According to the world health organization (WHO), lead, TRANS fats worldwide to more than 500,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease per year. The organization calls for a Long time, to remove artificial TRANS fats are largely out of food, in 2018, it published a strategy. “Why our children should have such a dangerous ingredient in your food?”, the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus asked.

The WHO recommendations suggest that people should be no more than one percent of your calorie needs with artificial TRANS fats ceilings. With a daily intake of 2000 kilocalories, this would mean that everyone should consume no more than 2.2 grams of fat. According to studies, especially population groups with a low income, as well as students between the ages of 18 to 30 is a risk to exceed this value in the EU.

Germany: the Problem were mainly due to back

In Germany, almost all the Supermarket goods a kept in a analysis in 2011, the limit value of two percent. More problematic, however, it was in the case of bakery such as Croissants or Donuts. Here, every second product exceeded the Two-percent threshold.

That it is possible, in the production of food without TRANS fats along, show experiences of other countries. Denmark decided in 2003, the first country in the world, the proportion of artificial TRANS fat limit in food to a maximum of two percent. After the introduction of the scheme fell next to the TRANS-fat content, the number of deaths from cardiovascular diseases in comparison to other OECD countries disproportionately.

In Germany, the content of TRANS must be specified fat to date only on infant and diet food mandatory. A point of reference, the inscriptions offer contains “hydrogenated fats” or “oils and fats, partly hardened”.

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