The FDA announced its preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. PHOs are the primary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods.
The Institute of Medicine has concluded that trans fat provides no known health benefit and that there is no safe level of consumption of artificial trans fat. Food manufacturers and retailers have voluntarily decreased trans fat levels in many of their products over the years.
Trans fat can be found in processed foods such as desserts, microwave popcorn, frozen pizzas, margarines, and coffee creamers. Its consumption increases LDL levels, which increase the risk of coronary heart disease. The FDA reported that trans fat intake among Americans has declined from 4.6g/day in 2003 to about 1g/day in 2012.
If the FDA finalizes this preliminary determination, PHOs would be considered “food additives” and could not be used in food unless authorized. The FDA would also provide sufficient time for reformulation of products in order to minimize market disruption.
This preliminary determination only affects PHOs and does not apply to naturally-occurring trans fat found in certain meats and dairy products. The docket will be open for comment for 60 days.
For more information call (888) 463-6332 or read more on the FDA’s Federal Register Notice.