CFSA Published Risk Assessment of Trans-fatty Acid Exposure in Chinese Population

Updated:2015-04-10 Clicks:11817

To understand dietary intake level of trans fatty acids (TFA) in the Chinese population and to assess the health risk of trans fatty acids, CFSA undertook an assessment of the dietary intake, and associated risk, of TFA. Consuming too much Trans Fatty acids is believed to increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke TFA contents data of 2,613 commonly consumed food items and food consumption data of 10,533 people, aged 3 years and above, in two big cities in China were compared and the distribution of dietary TFA intake estimated. The mean content of TFA was highest in margarine (1.68±0.83g/100g), followed by chocolate and candy (0.89±2.68g/100g), edible vegetable oils (0.86±0.82g/100g), milk (0.83±1.56g/100g), bakery food (0.41±0.91g/100g) respectively. TFA intake accounted for 0.34%, 0.30%, 0.32% and 0.29% of total energy intake in 3-6, 7-12, 13-17, and ≥18 years age groups respectively. There were 0.42% of individuals whose TFA intake, as a percentage of total energy intake, was greater than 1%. The main sources of dietary TFA intake are edible vegetable oils, milk, mutton and beef, and baked foods, which accounted for 49.8%, 16.56%, 12.21% and 8.87% respectively. Therefore, the current intake of TFA among people in the two cities did not appear to be of major health concern based on the threshold of TFA intake as % of total energy recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Most of TFA in the population’s diet are derived from industrially processed foods, and the primary source of TFAs in processed food is “partially hydrogenated oils. The Government should require clear accurate labeling of TFA content of foods and and regulate food producer to reduce the TFA in food further and provide instruction for consumers to make them more aware of the associated health risks to enable them make more informed purchasing decisions.