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Margarines have never been lower in trans fatty acids than they are today

breadThe World Health Organisation’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, 2013-2020, calls Member States to implement policies to replace trans fatty acids (TFA) with unsaturated fats. The IMACE voluntary efforts to continuously reduce the TFA level in their products, reflects its support for this recommendation.

The IMACE voluntary Code of Practice on trans fatty acids, launched in 1995 and updated three times, is the cornerstone of the sector’s reformulation objectives. Besides setting objectives for retail margarines, it also covers B2B products used as ingredients in food products.

Since 2004, IMACE is conducting regular surveys to monitor non-ruminant trans fatty acid (TFA) and saturated fatty acid (SAFA) content in B2B products to measure the sector’s reformulation progress. The 2015 collection of data shows that B2B margarine manufacturers are very close to reaching the IMACE Voluntary Code of Practice’s target (2% TFA on fat basis), in spite of additional technical and competitive challenges.

  • Between 2004 and 2016, the percentage (%) of product tonnes complying with IMACE’s recommended maximum 2% TFA level (on fat basis) increased from 29% (in 2004) to 93% for the B2B Margarines.
  • Considerable improvement has been made since 2004 with the total average TFA level on fat basis in B2B margarines decreasing from 7.1% in 2004 to 2% in 2015, in line with the IMACE Code of Practice.
  • This TFA reduction was moreover achieved while keeping SAFA content on fat basis as low as possible, which represents a technological challenge. The total average combined TFA +SAFA content (on fat basis) in B2B Margarines has reduced from 50.1% in 2004 to 3% in 2015.
  • The targets for the retail margarines are fully met since many years.

 

IMACE Member Companies also commit to actively encourage their customers to use margarine products with no more than 2% TFA on fat basis and they stand ready to support the broader food industry to achieve the same results.

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