MOH to ban key source of artificial trans fats in food like cookies and pizzas from June 2021
SINGAPORE - Partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the main source of artificial trans fats, will be banned as an ingredient in all foods sold in Singapore from June 2021.
This includes all pre-packaged foods, like cookies, potato chips and instant noodles, even if they are manufactured overseas.
Other products that are likely to contain PHOs include frozen ready-to-eat meals, cakes and pastries, beverage creamers and three-in-one drink mixes, chocolate spreads and peanut butter.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs Amrin Amin made the announcement on Thursday (June 6) during a visit to Sheng Siong Supermarket at Junction 10 in Woodlands Road.
Mr Amrin had said in March during the debate on the Health Ministry's budget that it was planning to introduce the ban.
This comes after many other countries have made moves to introduce similar bans.
Trans fats are used in food manufacturing and by restaurants because they enhance the flavour, texture and shelf life of processed foods. But research now shows that eating trans fats increases one's risk of heart disease and stroke.
PHO bans came into effect in United States and Canada by end-2018, and in Thailand in January this year. Last year, Brazil also passed a law that will see a ban go into effect in 2021.
Six manufacturers and retailers have pledged their commitment to ensure that the products they produce or import will be free of PHOs by June 2020, a year before the ban kicks in here.
They include Gardenia Foods, Nestle Singapore, Sunshine Bakeries, NTUC FairPrice, Prime Supermarket and Sheng Siong Group.
Nestle Singapore told The Straits Times that 98.6 per cent of its products sold here are already PHO-free. The rest will be PHO-free by the end of the year with no pricing changes, it added.
Most local manufacturers have taken steps to reformulate their products following a limit on trans fats that came into effect in 2013.
An amendment to regulations under the Sale of Food Act stipulated that fats and oils supplied to manufacturers and food and beverage retailers Singapore, as well as those sold on the retail market, must not have trans fat content exceeding 2 per cent per product.
It also became mandatory to label trans fat levels on the packaging of all fats and oils and indicate in the ingredients list if PHOs are used.
This means most of the products that will likely be affected by the ban are manufactured overseas and imported here.
Posted 06 June 2019 - 09:29 PM
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