Limits and labelling have reduced availability of artificial trans fats – systematic review finds

A cheeseburger

A systematic review by CEDAR researchers has shown that maximum limits and mandatory labelling reduced the availability of artificial trans-fatty acids (TFAs) in food items for sale or reported on food labels since 2004.

A high intake of TFA has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Artificial TFAs are sometimes used in pre-prepared food as a cost-effective way to increase shelf life and improve the texture and taste of baked goods.  TFAs do occur naturally at low levels in many foods such as meat and dairy product, but levels of artificial or industrially hardened TFAs can be reduced by food manufacturers.

In a systematic review into studies that examined artificial TFA controls limiting permitted levels or mandating labeling, researchers found that regulations grounded on maximum limits and mandated labeling can lead to reductions in TFAs in food, and appear to encourage food producers to reformulate their products.