Sunshine, Gardenia & Nestle Will Make Sure Bread & Noodle Products Adhere To Artificial Trans Fat Ban

What exactly is artificial trans fat? This is probably the burning question for most Singaporeans, ever since MOH announced a ban on products containing them.

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Simply put, oils and fats used to lengthen the shelf life of cookies, noodles & spreads cause these harmful fats to accumulate in our bodies.

These trans fats are linked to stroke, heart disease & have no nutritional value whatsoever.

As a result, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced a complete ban on products containing partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) and by extension, artificial trans fats by June 2021.

How exactly will this affect us?

Supermarkets like NTUC Fairprice, Sheng Shiong and Prime will be pulling products that aren’t compliant from shelves as early as next year, and ensuring that their house brand items comply with regulations.

All Sunshine & Gardenia bread will be PHO-free by next year

Familiar bread brands like Sunshine Bakeries and Gardenia will also be joining the effort to only produce edibles without PHOs.

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As a large producer of baked goods and spreads, Sunshine claims that 98 of their products are free of PHOs. Gardenia adds they have phased out PHOs from their bread since early 2000s.

We can also expect Nestle – a popular cereal and drink brand – to follow suit.

Artificial trans fat increases risk of stroke & heart disease

Trans fat is otherwise known as an unsaturated fatty acid. There are also 2 kind of trans fat — natural and artificial, confirms the World Health Organisation.

Natural trans fat occurs in cattle like sheep or cows.

Artificial trans fat is created by infusing vegetable oils with hydrogen to make them solid. Such hydrogenated oils are often used to lengthen the shelf-life of food products.

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Locals who consume packaged food regularly tend to accumulate artificial trans fat above the recommended intake — that’s when risks of these health conditions may arise.

  • Stroke
  • Heart Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Increased bad cholesterol levels (LDL)
  • Reduced good cholesterol levels (HDL)

Trans fat also has “no known health benefits”, so a ban won’t let you miss out on much.

10% of oils & pre-packaged S’pore food still have PHOs

The Straits Times reports that around “10% of oils, fats and pre-packaged food” in Singapore still contain PHOs.

If you indulge in peanut butter out of a jar 3 times a day, you may want to check the labels on these products the next time cravings hit:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Cookies
  • Instant Noodles
  • Potato Chips

Your Nutella spreads & Milo packets are probably safe

Singapore will be following in the footsteps of US and Thailand, who have already instituted a ban on artificial trans fats & PHOs.

Sunflower or canola oil is recommended as a healthy substitute for the compound in our favourite snacks, so we should welcome the change.

In summary, if you’ve been conscious about your diet choices, this ban won’t affect you too much. Our favourite Milo packet drinks, Koko Krunch cornflakes & Nutella spreads are safe, as long as you eat them in moderation.

Now that you’re aware of what trans fat is, it’s best to remind your family and friends to look out for the labels too.

Featured image from TheSmartLocal.