Industrially produced trans-fatty acids (iTFAs) pose a variety of health concerns in the global food supply chain. In a bid to further improve consumer diets across the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a guide, the WHO REPLACE, for governments and various industries, which includes the standard of using a maximum of 2 grams of iTFA per 100 grams of fat/oils by the end of 2023.
Cargill is the first to commit to meet WHO’s campaign, taking it a step further by achieving 100% compliance. The company has already taken out around 1 billion pounds of iTFAs in the last 25 years, comprising 89% of its global edible oils portfolio, including areas where there is no current legislative mandate on iTFAs.
“We’re proud to be part of this effort to share and apply our expertise to help food manufacturers of all sizes, across all geographies to remove iTFAs,” said Jennifer Shomenta, president of Cargill’s global edible oils business.
Introducing upgrades in several facilities that handle oil processing, and utilising its expertise in providing alternative formulations will be key drivers in meeting this goal.
Cargill joins many suppliers in the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) who have agreed to take on WHO’s call. “We are thrilled to see Cargill’s commitment to reduce iTFAs in all of their oils, in service of the World Health Organization’s goal to phase iTFAs out of the food supply,” said René Lammers, Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer, PepsiCo. “This move aligns with PepsiCo’s efforts to reduce iTFAs in our foods and is a crucial part of our pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) journey to evolve our food and beverage portfolio to be better for the planet and people. Cargill is an important part of our supply chain and we look forward to working together to continue to accelerate progress toward our iTFA goals.”
“Even as the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that worldwide, improving nutrition remains a top concern,” said David Webster, leader of Cargill’s food ingredients and bioindustrial enterprise and chief risk officer. “This commitment aligns with our purpose to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way and gives us the opportunity as a collective industry to remove iTFAs from the global food supply no matter where food is manufactured or consumed. We know this effort will take time, and we are eager to work with customers as they take this important step.”
iTFAs are formed mostly through partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils, but is also the by-product of high thermal treatment during the oil refining process. There are about 40 countries that have iTFA regulations already in place.