Food Safety / Processing

CDC says trans fat reduction efforts slowed over time

Progress varied by food type and parent company.

June 12, 2013
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

CDC says trans fat reduction efforts slowed over time

Research published in CDC’s journal Preventing Chronic Disease suggests manufacturer reduction of trans fatty acids (TFAs) has slowed over time, and progress varies by food type and parent company. Because consuming TFA is harmful even at low levels, researchers urge manufacturers to renew efforts to discontinue or reformulate products containing TFA or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs).

Small quantities of TFAs occur naturally in meat and dairy products, but most TFA consumption comes from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. The partial hydrogenation process converts vegetable oils to semisolid fats with attractive cooking, baking and frying properties. However, scientific studies have shown consumption of TFAs increases risk for cardiovascular and metabolic conditions. 

Researchers selected 360 products containing .5g TFA or more per serving and observed their labels annually from 2007 to 2011. Researchers also recorded levels of PHVO in 2011. Among the 270 products produced each year, TFA reduction slowed over time from 30.3 percent in 2007-2008 to 12.1 percent in 2008-2010 and to just 3.4 percent for 2010-2011.

The slowing pace of reductions resulted both from fewer reformulations of TFA-containing products and smaller TFA reductions among reformulated products. Reformulations also varied by product type and company, with some entirely or mostly eliminating TFA while others showed no significant changes.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggests US consumption of industrially produced (as opposed to naturally occurring) TFA declined between 2003 and 2006. Blood analysis shows a roughly 50 percent reduction of TFA exposure from 2000 to 2009.

Overall, evidence shows TFA consumption in the US is decreasing, but the pace, scale and extent of reduction efforts remain varied across product type and company.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering January 2015 Cover

2015 January

In this January 2015 issue of Food Engineering, we explore how robotics can play a role in pick-and-place, packaging, case packing and palletizing processes, and know where to implement robotic automation.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.