Members of the International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA) have taken another step to support the commitments they first made to the World Health Organization in 2008 with the adoption of a worldwide commitment to phase out industrially produced trans fatty acids (TFAs) in their products. IFBA is a group of 11 global food and non-alcoholic beverage companies: The Coca-Cola Co., Ferrero, General Mills Inc., Grupo Bimbo, Kellogg, Mars Inc., McDonald’s Corp., Mondelēz International, Nestlé Inc., PepsiCo Inc. and Unilever.
Building on the individual progress made to date and aiming to minimize intake of industrially produced TFAs, IFBA members have agreed a common global objective to reduce TFAs in their products to nutritionally insignificant levels (less than 1 gram of trans fat per 100 grams of product) worldwide by the end of 2018 at the latest.
IFBA members have been voluntarily reformulating their products to remove partially hydrogenated oils – the major source of trans fat in processed foods – and increase the use of healthier fats, such as mono- or poly-unsaturated fatty acids. To help consumers make informed dietary choices, IFBA members have also been listing trans fat content on nutrition labels.
The World Health Organization’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’s new commitment reflects its support for this recommendation.
Commenting on the new commitment, Rocco Renaldi, IFBA Secretary-General, said, “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.”