FDBusiness.com

66% of foods containing trans-fats have been reformulated, but progress is slowing: Harvard study

 Breaking News
  • Nestlé Inaugurates New Nescafé Dolce Gusto Production in Vietnam Nestlé has inaugurated a new Nescafé Dolce Gusto capsule production line in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam. The site will process an expected 2,500 tons of coffee per year (equivalent to 130 million capsules), using high quality coffee beans from Vietnam. This volume is expected to increase in the coming years. The investment reflects Nestlé’s clear focus on high-growth, [...]...
  • Pink Lemonade Yogurt? Arla Brings Indulgence to New Markets Arla Foods is to expand its successful Finnish brand, Ihana, into new markets with the premium yogurt range being launched in Denmark and the UK. Meaning ‘wonderful’ in Finnish, Ihana was launched through an extensive brand launch in 2016 in Finland with an iconic new design. Indulgence is one of the few areas in growth within [...]...
  • Process Components Announces Kemutec Expansion into Netherlands Process Components has announced the expansion of subsidiary company Kemutec in Europe, with the long-established manufacturing brand opening a new office in the Netherlands. The move forms a key part of its global strategy to extend its global territories, significantly grow its revenues and create new jobs. Kemutec has more than three decades’ worth of heritage in [...]...
  • Packaging Automation Supports the Reduction in Plastic Packaging Waste With the launch of the UK Plastics Pact to address the impact plastic waste is having on the environment, retailers and manufacturers are more conscious of single use and non-recyclable plastics and want to cater for the green consumer. The industry is turning to various kinds of eco-friendly packaging with the aim of reducing plastic [...]...
  • Glanbia Cheese Joint Venture to Build New €130 Million Mozzarella Cheese Facility Glanbia Cheese, the joint venture business between Glanbia plc and Leprino Foods, plans to build a new, world-class mozzarella cheese manufacturing facility in Portlaoise, County Laois, Ireland. A site for the new facility has been identified at the recently established Togher National Industrial Estate in Portlaoise. A total of €130 million will be invested in [...]...

66% of foods containing trans-fats have been reformulated, but progress is slowing: Harvard study

66% of foods containing trans-fats have been reformulated, but progress is slowing: Harvard study
May 24
10:34 2013

Industry efforts to reduce and/or remove trans fats from food products have led to progress, but this progress is slowing, and the industry must continue its effort to reformulate, says a new report from Harvard School of Public Health.

Despite progress being made, data published in Preventing Chronic Disease indicated “many products remain in the food supply that contain substantial amounts of [industrially-produced trans fatty acids].

“Because [trans fatty acid] consumption is harmful even at low levels, our results emphasize the need for continued major efforts and commitment toward reformulating (or discontinuing) foods to eliminate [partially hydrogenated vegetable oils], with particular focus on certain food categories and companies.”

The issue

Trans fats have been attractive for the food industry due to their extended shelf life and flavor stability, and have displaced natural solid fats and liquid oils in many areas of food processing.

However, scientific evidence mounted to show they raise levels of LDL (so-called ‘bad’) cholesterol, while lowering levels of HDL (‘good’) cholesterol, thereby clogging arteries and causing heart disease.

Some data indicates that trans fat consumption has decreased by 58% in the United States over the past decade, as some cities and regions have instigated bans, and the federal government has required labeling of the fat.

While progress is being made, this progress has slowed in recent years, according to the new report.

Data

These conclusions are based on a sampling of brand name products followed between 2007 and 2011.

Led by Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, from the Harvard School of Public Health, the researchers examined the evolution of 360 products that contained 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving in 2007. Ninety products were discontinued after 2007, allowing data to be collected for 270 products.

The results showed that, by 2011, the trans fat content had been reduced in 178 (66%) of the 270 products. Progress mostly occurred between 2007 and 2008, when the average trans-fat content decreased by 30%, said the report, whereas reductions of only 3.4% were seen between 2010 and 2011.

On average, the largest overall gram-per-serving declines were seen for doughnuts, crackers, and pies, wrote Dr Mozaffarian and his co-workers.  The smallest percentage declines were seen for rolls, margarines, and microwave popcorns.

While progress has been made for some popcorn brands – Pop Weaver has eliminated it in all of its microwave popcorn, and Orville Redenbacher has eliminated it in all but two varieties – on average, popcorn products had the most artificial trans-fat between 2007 and 2011, with 4.5 grams per serving in 2007 and with 3.8 grams per serving in 2011.

Indeed, Pop Secret’s Butter Popcorn still has 5 grams of artificial trans fat per serving: This one serving would have more trans fat than the American Heart Association recommends one consume over the course of five days.

Parent company progress

Dr Mozaffarian and his co-workers also examined which companies made the most progress. The greatest percentage declines were achieved by Cole’s Quality Foods, which makes frozen garlic bread and breadsticks, Schwan Food Company, which makes frozen pies and pizza, and Tasty Baking Company, which makes Tastykake baked goods.

On the other hand, the smallest declines were seen in foods made by American Pies (with reductions of trans fat of only 3%), Giant Foods, and ConAgra Foods.

GRAS

Another solution could be for the FDA to declare that partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is no longer ‘generally recognized as safe’ (GRAS), which would place limits on the presence of industrially produced trans fats in foods, they said. Countries such as Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, and Switzerland have already taken such action.

Michael Jacobson, executive director of the consumer advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), said: “Artificial trans fat wreaks havoc on Americans’ metabolism and blood chemistry, something the FDA has known for 15 years.

“The FDA could solve this problem once and for all, and save thousands of lives, with the stroke of a pen.  This study clearly indicates that some food companies simply can’t be relied upon to get rid of trans fat on their own.”

Source: Preventing Chronic Disease
2013, Volume 10, 120198, doi: 10.5888/pcd10.120198
“Trends in Trans Fatty Acids Reformulations of US Supermarket and Brand-Name Foods From 2007 Through 2011”
Authors: F.O. Otite, M.F. Jacobson, A. Dahmubed, D. Mozaffarian

About Author

colin

colin

Related Articles



Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • September 5, 2018Int'l Food Products and Processing Technologies Exhibition (WorldFood Istanbul)
  • September 15, 2018iba
  • September 25, 2018PPMA Show 2018
  • September 27, 2018Int'l Fruit Show (eurofruit)
AEC v1.0.4

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber





Subscribe Here



Advertisements