Hanoi (VNA) – Singapore will ban the use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the main source of artificial trans fats, in all foods from June 2021, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.

Accordingly, food processing companies will have to ensure that PHOs are not used in the production process. Retailers and importers must also ensure their food products do not contain PHOs as an ingredient.

The ministry said PHOs is commonly found in oils, fats and pre-packaged products, and it is estimated that about 10 percent of these categories of food in Singapore currently contain PHOs.

Six companies of Singapore have committed to meet the ban a year early, ensuring that their products are PHO-free by June 2020. They account for 50 percent of market share across the four high-risk food categories of snacks, baked goods, prepared meals and fat spreads, the ministry added.

The new measure will replace the current 2-percent limit of the amount of trans fat content in fats and oils sold in Singapore. The existing limit has halved the national daily trans fat intake from 2.1 grammes a day in 2010 to 1 gramme a day in 2018.

Trans fat consumption is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, and there is no safe level of consumption.

Previous studies had found that a four-gramme increase in daily trans fat intake was associated with a 23-percent increase in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases.-VNA