FSSAI extends deadline to reduce TFA in edible oils

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has extended the deadline for the enforcement of its recent gazette notification which caps the amount of trans fatty acids (TFA) in oils and fats to 3 per cent from the current permissible limit of 5 per cent from January 2021 to April this year. The deadline to reduce trans-fatty acid to 2 per cent, however, remains the same - January 1, 2022.

"In view of representations received from the industry and to facilitate smooth transition from the industry to the new norms for the trans fatty acids (TFAs), it is directed that the enforcement for the limit of 3 per cent by weight shall commence w.e.f. April 1, 2021, and for such products manufactured on or after April 1, 2021," the authority said in its recent notification.

The edible oil industry has cited the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns as a reason for its inability to prepare for the reduction of trans-fat. The country's food regulatory body notified the amendment to the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations on December 29, more than a year after it issued a draft on the subject for consultation with stakeholders. The revised regulation applies to edible refined oils, vanaspati (partially hydrogenated oils), margarine, bakery shortenings, and other mediums of cooking such as vegetable fat spreads and mixed fat spreads.