Palm Oil Opportunities To Take Advantage Of Who Regulation “Trans Fats Elimination By 2023”
The World Health Organization (WHO) will implement a policy of free industrially produced trans fatty acids in the supply chain of a food product by 2023. To achieve this goal, WHO has also made action packages and global guidelines to eliminate trans fats as REPLACE (Review, Promote, Legislate, Assess, Create, Enforce). As many as 23 countries have implemented mandatory limits on the use of trans industrial fatty acids by the end of 2018 and it is estimated that around 58 countries will introduce laws by the end of 2021.
This policy was taken as a step to reduce the millions of premature deaths triggered by the consumption of food products containing industrial-free fatty acids. Various studies state that consumption of industrially produced trans fatty acids has a detrimental impact on human health to cause death caused by various diseases such as cardiovascular, atherosclerosis, obesity, type-2 diabetes, and infertility in women.
One of them is a journal article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who lived in parts of New York State where trans fats had been banned for three or more years had significantly lower rates of heart attacks and strokes. Another study conducted by The American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that this policy was successful in saving an average of 14.2 lives per 100,000 people each year.
In contrast to natural trans fatty acids that are found in animal foods such as milk and meat, industrially produced trans fatty acids are produced from industrial processes such as the hydrogenation process (especially partial hydrogenation) to increase the density and stability of edible oil or edible fat, which is the raw material for food products such as cooking oil, bread, crackers, cakes, and others.
The WHO policy regarding the ban on the use of industrially processed trans fatty acids in food products can be seen as an opportunity for palm oil to fulfilling the global needs. Palm oil is one of the edible oils which is proven as free of industrially (artificial) trans fatty acids. The natural composition of palm oil contains relatively high saturated fatty acids (around 44 percent) has implications for its semi-solid form with a melting point from 33oC-39oC and stable at high temperatures around 180oC. These characteristics cause palm oil can be applied to food products without through the hydrogenation process.
The opportunity for palm oil to meet the needs of the global community will be even greater with the implementation of WHO’s regulation. Because palm oil will substitute the need for soft oils such as soybean oil and sunflower seed oil which contain high trans fatty acids due to their production process that they produced through both fully hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated processes. This fact confirm by Prof. Purwayitno Hariyadi in the book “Mengenal Minyak Sawit dengan Beberapa Karakter Unggulya” states that the unsaturated-trans fatty acids content in hydrogenated soybean oil reach 13-30 percent.
Thus, palm oil, especially stearin, can substitute vegetable oils containing trans fatty acids as a material of food products. Dr. Puspo Edi Giriwono, a researcher at the SEAFAST Center, who said that the United States Government also severely limits the use of soybean oil produced from the hydrogenation process and then substituted by palm oil.
Similar to that statement, Prof. Purwayitno Hariyadi who also serves as Vice-Chair of the Alimentarius Codex Commission also said in a webinar organized by the National Standardization Agency (BSN) which also discusses WHO policies related to the elimination of industrially process trans fatty acids, states that in some countries palm oil has been used as an alternative to subsitutes edible oil produced from Partially Hydrogenated Oil (PHO) contains trans fatty acids.
On different webinar, Prof. Purwayitno Hariyadi emphasized that Indonesia as the largest palm oil producer in the world must be serious about seizing the opportunity for palm oil to fulfilling the global needs along with the implementation of WHO policies related to the elimination of trans fats by 2023.
Therefore, government attention and support is needed through programs and policies or roadmaps in order to implement the WHO policy as well as promote the use of palm oil as an alternative for edible oil which is free of trans fats. This government policy or roadmap must also be supported by a scientific consensus carried out by experts to present scientific evidence addressing the role and benefits of palm oil in the achievement of WHO policy goals by 2023.
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