News & Media

Australia Leads the Way on Trans fats

The announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration that there will be a three year phasing out of trans fats in the USA, underlines how the Australian food industry is a global leader in removing trans fats from the Australian diet, said the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

AFGC CEO Mr Gary Dawson said that the US is catching up to Australian standards following successful work in Australia to cut the amount of trans fats in the Australian diet to extremely low levels by international standards.

“Australians typically obtain around 0.6 per cent of their daily kilojoules from trans fats. Of this, about half come from naturally occurring sources. This is well under the World Health Organization recommendation to consume less than 1 per cent of daily kilojoules in the form of trans fats,” said Mr Dawson.

“The level of trans fats in the Australian diet is low because manufacturers of many products recognised this as an issue more than 10 years ago and took steps to remove them from their products.”

“The food industry’s partnership with the National Heart Foundation “Tick” program has also provided an incentive for manufacturers to reduce the use of trans fatty acid containing fats in their products. ”

“Through innovation and reformulation Australian soft margarines have been free of trans fat for over 10 years and a number of companies have moved to take them out of their biscuits and confectionary lines. There are excellent commercial frying oils now available that are virtually free of trans fats,” said Mr Dawson.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council is part of the Australia New Zealand Collaboration on Trans fats, which is investigating if there is anything further that can be done to reduce the amount of trans fats in the Australian food supply. A key issue for this group is to ensure any reduction in trans fat levels does not result in an increase in the use of saturated fats.

 

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AFGC Media Contact: James Mathews 0407 416 002