Bakers Journal

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Global food and beverage giants pledge to phase out trans fats


May 18, 2016
By Doug Picklyk

Geneva, Switzerland – Members of the International Food & Beverage Alliance, a non-profit group formed by 11 global food and beverage companies, have formalized a commitment to phase out industrially produced trans fatty acids in their products to less than 1 gram of trans fat per 100 grams of product by the end of 2018.

Footnotes to the commitment point out that Grupo Bimbo had already reduced industrially produced trans fats to less than 0.5 grams per serving in 98 per cent of its global product portfolio by the end of 2015. However, in order to meet the new commitment for its entire portfolio the company will require until the end of 2020 at the latest. Also, the commitment does not currently apply to McDonald’s, “The company is assessing its global franchise network and will confirm its position as soon as possible,” notes the release.

“Reducing the intake of industrial trans fats to nutritionally insignificant levels has been identified as a priority in public health nutrition. The commitment by IFBA member companies to achieve this globally over the next two and one-half years supports this objective. We stand ready to support the broader industry to achieve the same and to work to define effective measures to ensure a level playing field in this area,” said Rocco Renaldi, IFBA Secretary-General, in a news release.

The IFBA pledge builds on commitments the group first made to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2008. The WHO’s global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, 2013 -2020, calls on member states to implement policies to replace industrially produced TFAs with unsaturated fats.

IFBA members have been voluntarily reformulating their products to remove partially hydrogenated oils—a major source of trans fat in processed foods—and increase the use of healthier fats, such as mono- or polyunsaturated fatty acids.

As part of the commitment, IFBA member companies will also collaborate with governments, health authorities, civil society and food and beverage industry associations to share best practices and help guide other companies, particularly small and medium enterprises, through the process of substituting partially hydrogenated oils.

The 11 members of the IFBA include: The Coca-Cola Company, Ferrero, General Mills, Grupo Bimbo, Kellogg, Mars, McDonald’s, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever.