Both the U.S. FDA and Health Canada are working towards reducing trans fats from the food supply by banning the use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs).
Trans fats occur in foods both naturally (in animal products such as milk and beef) and artificially, predominantly as partially hydrogenated oils (found in products such as margarine and vegetable shortening.) PHOs are frequently used in food manufacturing because they have a longer shelf life than other fats.
Many studies have shown that trans fats increase the risk of heart disease by increasing the levels of "bad" cholesterol. Therefore, various health agencies, including the World Health Organization, have recommended that we limit their consumption.
Following are the timelines for the determination:
- June 2015, the FDA released a final comment on partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) and determined they are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).
- June 2018, manufacturers cannot add PHO’s to products.
- January 1, 2020, all products sold in the U.S. must be PHO-free.
- April 2017, Health Canada issued a notice of proposal declaring their intent to prohibit PHO's.
- June 21, 2017, comment period ends
- June 2018, Health Canada's proposed compliance date
Note: In May 2018, the FDA extended the compliance date from June 2018 to January 2020, to allow time for current products to exit the marketplace, however manufacturers must have stopped adding PHOs by June 2018.
How Genesis R&D Can Assist with Compliance
If you have created your recipes in Genesis R&D, you can search those recipes for ingredients that need to be removed or replaced. If you don't know what those ingredients are, you can use the Nutrient Search option to find ingredients containing trans fat.
- With the Recipe on-screen, from the "Search For" field, press the F5 button on your keyboard. (This opens the Nutrient Search screen.)
- Click Select.
- Choose Trans Fatty Acid
- Select an operator and enter in value. In this case >0.
- Click Search. The results will be all ingredients that contain trans fats.
At this point, you can determine which of your products contain these ingredients and which of your products, therefore, must be reformulated or removed.
Once you have identified the ingredients that you want to replace with new PHO-free ingredients, you may want to perform a find-and-replace. Here's how:
- Open the Recipes that contain a particular ingredient (using method above)
- Enter ingredient name in the Search By field
- Check box "Search within items for matches to the above criteria"
Editor’s note: this post was originally published on July 19, 2017, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.