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EU reduces trans fat content in food

The EU Commission has set a limit for trans fats. From 2 April 2021, food for direct consumption must not contain more than 2% trans fats.

Trans fats, which do not occur naturally in food, are produced when vegetable oil is partially hydrogenated. This process is carried out in food production to make the products creamy, spreadable and more durable. Fatty acids can be formed by heating vegetable oils several times over a longer period of time.

Accordingly, the following foods in particular frequently contain artificial trans fats:

  • fried foods
  • margarine
  • bakery products (e.g. croissants, biscuits, waffles, doughnuts)
  • instant soups
  • sauces
  • snacks (e.g. chips, popcorn)

Not affected are foods in which trans fats are naturally present, such as meat, butter and milk.

The new regulation aims to allow producers to develop alternative production techniques and to select ingredients more selectively in order to significantly reduce trans fat content.


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