Baked but no trans fats

 
By Ragini Letitia Singh
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015 | 02:50:09 AM

Vanaspati is integral to baked (Credit: MEETA AHLAWAT) Britannia goes for palm oil

britannia Industries Ltd has decided to remove trans fats from its entire range of baked products by the end of this year. The reason, company officials said, was growing scientific evidence of trans fats affecting health adversely. It is reducing trans fats by switching from vanaspati to palm oil-based products. Palm oil is the cheapest oil in the market (see 'Fat of the matter', Down To Earth, February 1-15, 2009).

But K D Yadav, technical adviser, Vanaspati Manufacturers Association of India, said the issue is exaggerated. "In India, vanaspati consumption is about 10 per cent. Most people don't cook in vanaspati since everyone has become so health conscious. Everything depends on how much we are consuming. Our consumption of fat is low."

Vanaspati, however, is an integral part of the bakery industry. Britannia initiated the process of becoming trans fats free in 2006 and has removed it from about 98 per cent of their bakery products--which translates to 8,500 tonnes of trans fats in the past 18 months. The company said the move had not affected the price or quality.

"Though the prices have changed in the past 18 months, this is not because we removed trans fats from the food. Cost inflation due to prices of raw material increasing has affected the entire industry," said Anuradha Narasimhan, Britannia's director, health and wellness.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.