Abstract 058: Trends in Trans Fatty Acids Reformulations of US Supermarket and Brand-name Foods between 2007 and 2011
Background-Adverse health effects, public campaigns, and labeling/regulatory requirements have motivated some food manufacturers to reduce industrial trans fatty acids (TFA) in their US products. However, it is unknown how much TFA is being reduced, whether pace of reformulation has changed over time, or whether reformulations vary by food type or manufacturer.
Objective-To investigate reformulations of TFA-containing US foods between 2007 and 2011; and whether reformulations varied over time or by food type or manufacturer.
Design-In 2007, investigator staff visited major US supermarkets to identify all major brand-name food products that contained at least 0.5g/serving TFA. In 2008, 2010 and 2011, the labels and ingredient lists of these products were re-examined to determine contents of TFA and partially hydrogenated oils. Based on prior work, products listing 0g TFA but containing partially hydrogenated oils were assumed to contain 0.4g/serving TFA. We assessed quantitative changes in TFA among 270 products sold throughout these periods; sensitivity analyses included additional products discontinued after 2007.
Results-Of 270 TFA-containing products from 48 major brands/manufacturers, 157 (58%) reduced (≥0.2g/serving reduction) their TFA content by 2011. Most of these reformulated products (80%) reduced their TFA content to <0.5 g/serving, although half (54%) still contained partially hydrogenated oils. Among all 270 products, mean TFA content decreased by 44%, from 1.90±1.32g/serving in 2007 to 0.97±1.20g/serving in 2011. The pace of reformulation significantly slowed over time, with 27.2% reduction in mean TFA content between 2007-2008, 13.2% reduction between 2008-2010, and 0.9% reduction between 2010-2011 (P-trend<0.0001). Similarly, restricted to products containing TFA at the start of each period, 40% reduced TFA between 2007-2008, but only 29% between 2008-2010, and 14% between 2010-2011. Reformulation varied substantially by food categories, with largest declines in TFA for French fries/potatoes (81% reduction), doughnuts (70%), and breads (69%) and smallest declines for rolls (11%), margarines (17%), and popcorns (18%). Reformulations also varied substantially by manufacturer, with some eliminating or nearly eliminating TFA and others showing no significant changes over time. Sensitivity analyses were similar to the main results.
Conclusions-Some food manufacturers have made progress in reducing TFA content of their US products, but substantial variation exists by food type and by company. Overall progress of reformulation has significantly slowed over time.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.