Much Ado About Nothing
Several members of the International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA)*, including Coca-Cola, Ferrero, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever, announced that they intended to lower the content of artificially produced trans fatty acids in their products worldwide. These fats have been associated with an elevated cardio-vascular risk. Their goal is to reduce trans fatty acid content to less than 1 gram per 100 grams of finished product by 2018. For this purpose, new recipes will be formulated which replace partially hydrogenated oils with fats rich in mono- or polyunsaturated fatty acids.
As Processalimentaire.com journalist Amélie Dereuder has pointed out, this may be big news in the United States, but nothing much is going to change in Europe. In France, the average trans fatty acid content of products was already less than 0.3% in 2008. By that time, the trans fatty acid content of 96% of the references collected was less than 1%. At the request of consumers, manufacturers had already reformulated their products using substitutes for partially hydrogenated oils.
A nice communications operation by major US groups, but that’s about all it is…