Today is world health day. We have over the past two years been exposed to a situation where we fairly understand what being healthy means. The past more than two years of pandemic situation made us to realize the true value we should attribute towards health and sticking to a health life schedule.
Importantly, we have witnessed a sharp bent of mind towards healthy living. The pandemic, especially, has shifted our attention towards our health with a special focus on diet to keep various diseases at bay.
Since we are celebrating the ‘world health day’, this year’s theme aims to direct global attention toward the well-being of our planet and the humans living on it. When it comes to human beings we all have a need and urge to eat for survival. And in today’s fast moving world we have to rely on outside support to seek and get our food.
But amidst all this have we ever wondered that what has been forwarded to us in the name of food items that we consume daily. Have we ever wondered about the permissible limits on the use of Trans-Fatty Acid (TFA) in manufacturing and processing of food products?
Pertinently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has restricted the permissible amount of industrial Trans-Fatty Acid (TFA) content in food products to 2 per cent and Food Business Operators have to comply with the said regulation from January 01, 2022.
Trans-Fats are associated with increased risk of heart attacks as well as death from coronary heart disease. In 2018, WHO called for elimination of industrially-produced trans-fat from the food supply chain by 2023? Trans-fats are largely present in partially hydrogenated vegetable fats/oils, vanaspati, margarine and bakery shortenings and can also be found in baked and fried foods.
Have we ever thought about seeking information from food business operators on the ue of trans-fats and if at all the food manufacturers are complying with Good Manufacturing Practices to ensure use of quality and safe edible oil besides upgrading their in-house testing facilities to meet the quality parameters mandated under Food laws.
Interestingly, a survey report on trans-fat and edible oil conducted by the FSSAI in collaboration with Food and Drugs Administration, J&K was conducted recently which also pointed out to certain facts that are proving that the trans-fats content in various food items has been found to be more than the prescribed limits.
Though some efforts are being initiated by various departments concerned who regulate food industry norms but lot more needs to be done as the food products that are produced on commercial lines are too massive to be governed by principles and rules alone.
What is needed is a participatory approach by all the members of Food Business Associations who need to sensitize all the stakeholders regarding the over use of harmful products and the ways and means to curb such practice.
The issue is grave and cooperation towards ensuring that safe and wholesome food is provided to the general public as a shared responsibility needs to be made a guiding principle.