'Healthy Shelf' for trans-fat-free food

Thiruvananthapuram: Soon, bakeries in the state capital will have a special shelf space dedicated to trans fat-free healthy sweet treats.

Kerala Commissionerate of Food Safety (KCFS) is gearing up to launch a 'Healthy Shelf' programme here as part of its effort to cut down trans fat consumption in the state.

Many leading city bakers have come forward to be part of the initiative and agreed to set up special shelves after Christmas.

An official said that they had selected five bakeries for the pilot programme, including Azad Bakery, St Michael's Bakery and MRA.

"We have formed a panel of experts to draw up special healthy recipes to assist the food business operators," he said.

"The healthy shelf will have interesting items made of locally available healthy raw materials. The plan is to introduce products with low salt, low sugar, low-fat treats."

The official said that the filling of the items would be healthy and jaggery would replace sugar and protein-rich items would substitute unhealthy fillings.

"We are also planning to organise a cookery contest at colleges to come up with more recipes," said the official.

To curb the usage of trans fat, the Commissionerate had collected around 104 samples of oil and fat from across the state, out of which almost 29 per cent had trans fat level beyond the permitted 5 per cent.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is targeting to bring down the usage of trans-fatty acid (TFA) content by 2 per cent by 2022.

Many European countries have set the maximum limit for TFA at 2 per cent of the total fat content in oils and fats.

The World Health Organisation has urged governments to eliminate the use of trans fats from global food supplies by 2023.

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