Reducing trans fats

Published: 03/02/2021

The food sector in Germany has already been successful in reducing trans fatty acids in many products during the last 20 years.

In 2010, a dialogue started between industry federations, the food sector, and science representatives to further optimise this process. The joint initiative, which has finally been adopted in 2012, aims to continue the reduction in non-ruminant trans fatty acids to reduce increased intake levels, taking into account technological limitations. Since the publication of the framework guideline in 2012, the participating associations of the joint initiative have been continuously active. Regular reports present the activities and successes achieved in the course of the initiative.

Additionally various branch organisations from the food sector and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture developed and signed a framework guideline and various product guidelines to assist food manufacturers in the reduction of non-ruminant trans fatty acids.

Recent data show the success of the initiative: the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) declared on 2013 that the trans-fatty acids consumption in Germany is currently not a relevant risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases. Most consumers in Germany consume less than 1% of their food energy as trans fatty acids.

The introduction of a European maximum level for TFA in food was used to summarize the successes of the past years in an overview report of August 2020. At the same time, the associations involved are consistently pursuing the goals of the initiative even after the European maximum level has been set.

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