Trans fats (TFA)

Trans fats (TFA)

Trans fats are also called trans fatty acids. Trans fats are a particular type of unsaturated fatty acids. In Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 they are defined as "fatty acids with at least one non-conjugated (namely interrupted by at least one methylene group) carbon-carbon double bond in the trans configuration." Some trans fats are produced industrially. The primary dietary source of industrial trans fats is partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils generally contain saturated and unsaturated fats, among them trans fats in variable proportions (with trans fats ranging from a few up to more than 50%), according to the production technology used. Trans fats can also be naturally present in food products derived from ruminant animals such as dairy products or meat from cattle, sheep or goat.

On 4 October 2018 the Commission has published a draft Commission Regulation amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards trans fat, other than trans fat naturally occurring in animal fat, in foods intended for the final consumer. Stakeholders are able to submit their comments over a 4-week feedback period. To provide feedback, please click here.

Main elements of the proposal:

  • A maximum limit of trans fat, other than trans fat naturally occurring in animal fat, in food which is intended for the final consumer, of 2 grams per 100 grams of fat
  • Definitions of "fat" and of "'trans fat" in line with the definitions in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 1169/2011
  • Food which does not comply may continue to be placed on the market until 1 April 2021

Background

On 3 December 2015, the Commission adopted a report to the European Parliament and the Council regarding trans fats in foods and in the overall diet of the Union population.

  • Report (language versions available)

Further information: