Blogs

For a Trans Fat Free World

September 22, 2020


By Oskar Song

As COVID-19 wreaks havoc all around the world, the pandemic highlights that the best defense against the virus is by taking care of one’s health. Studies have shown that healthy individuals stand a lower risk of suffering the worst from this virus. Therefore, in our topic about Trans Fat, we want to highlight the detrimental health effects it has.

Consumed in high amounts, Trans Fat raises harmful Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and lowers the more beneficial High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels in the human body – elevating the risks of heart disease. This also predisposes consumers to risks of stroke, cancer, liver dysfunction, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.

There are two broad types of Trans Fats found in foods: naturally-occurring and artificial Trans Fats. Naturally-occurring Trans Fats are produced in the gut of some animals, and foods such as dairy and some meat products may contain small quantities. Researchers state that naturally occurring Trans Fat is not considered harmful, whereas artificial ones are.  The latter is created in an industrial process called hydrogenation, which adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils.

Most vegetable oils are liquids at room temperature, so hydrogenation is employed to improve shelf-life, maintain flavor stability, and primarily, to be more ‘solid’ and to possess a ‘spreadable consistency’. As the name of the process suggests, hydrogenation seeks to turn liquid fats solid by adding hydrogen atoms.

World Health Organization (WHO) figures estimate that Trans Fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular disease every year. WHO has long recommended food manufacturers to limit the use of Trans Fats in their products. In 2018, the US and Canada fully banned Trans Fats, and to date, more than 23 countries have set mandatory limits on industrially-produced Trans Fat or altogether banned partially hydrogenated oils. In Asia, Singapore and India are two countries that have already imposed limits for Trans Fat content, with the latter targeting to limit Trans Fat content to no more than 2% in all edible oils and fats.

Showing how widespread its use can be, Trans Fat can be found in many fried foods. The list includes French fries, doughnuts, and fried chicken. Non-dairy coffee creamers, baked goods such as cakes, and shortening products all contain Trans Fat.

Palm Oil is a semi-solid at room temperature and has a higher saturated fat content. It is unlike other oils, and from a production perspective, it is far easier to prevent Trans Fat from forming. Therefore, through meticulous management from our laboratories and refining processes, Musim Mas can eliminate Trans Fat from our products for customers seeking a healthy solution.

With the health of end consumers in mind, we partner with food manufacturers to co-develop Trans Fat free solutions. One ingredient, thousand opportunities.

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