Can palm oil continue its role in eliminating trans fat from global food supply?
Over the past 20 years palm oil has been widely used to replace partially hydrogenated fat or trans fat (TFA) that was used to provide structure in many food products in western Europe. Palm oil fits most food applications that require hard fats, and the use of palm oil to replace trans fat in food products has played an important role to eradicate trans fat in many European countries.
Food manufacturers in some European regions still use partially hydrogenated fat. Trans fats may be present in snack food, baked foods, and fried foods.
Mid-May 2018 WHO released REPLACE, a step-by-step guide for the elimination of industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply. Eliminating trans fats is key to protecting health and saving lives: WHO estimates that every year, trans fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular disease. WHO stresses that healthier alternatives can be used that would not affect taste or cost of food.