F3. Artificial Trans Fats Removal

“(a). We do not use ingredients that contain artificial trans fats.”

“(b). We are working to remove artificial trans fats from our products within the next 12 months.”

The following provides background and supporting information to help organisations understand what this pledge sets out to achieve and how, by becoming a Responsibility Deal partner, you can help deliver this pledge.

What this pledge sets out to achieve and why it is important

This pledge will help ensure the amount of artificial trans fats in the diet remain low, and give consumers confidence that Responsibility Deal partners will not use them in foods in the future.  The pledge does not apply to sources of trans fat from ruminant animals.

The pledge builds on significant previous industry action[1] by committing businesses to remove artificial trans fats from the few remaining products that still contain them.

This pledge is important as high intakes of trans fats are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

Public health benefits

Voluntary industry action over the last 20 years has resulted in average intakes of trans fats in the UK falling by a third.  Average intakes are well within current public health recommendations.  Further action by industry will help to ensure that intakes of artificial trans fats are reduced to a minimum.

Why are there two parts to this pledge?

There are two parts to the artificial trans fats removal pledge, in recognition of the fact that some organisations will have taken the decision not to use artificial trans fats, others have already removed them from their products, and some are still working to remove them.  Organisations will sign up to either F3(a) or F3(b).

How you can deliver this pledge

If businesses have not already done so they are asked to :

  • remove partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (pHVO) from foods.
  • ensure that the fats and oils used in the preparation of foods, eg frying oils, are less than 2 per cent total trans.
  • procure products and adapt their practices to remove artificial trans fats.

The Department of Health has developed guidance to support smaller businesses to deliver this pledge.

Wherever possible businesses should ensure that reformulation to reduce levels of artificial trans fats does not result in an increase in saturated fat levels.

Your pledge delivery plan

Shortly after signing up to F3(a), partners will be asked to provide a delivery plan in which they must confirm when they met this pledge.  There will be no further reporting for these partners.

Partners signing up to F3(b) will participate in the Responsibility Deal’s reporting arrangements set out below, until they have completed this work and can transfer to F3(a).

Shortly after signing up, partners will be asked to provide pledge delivery plans, laying out how they intend to meet each of the pledges they have signed up to.  They will have up to 500 words to describe their plans for each pledge they are signed up to.  All delivery plans will be published on this website.

Reporting progress on your pledge

Partners will be asked to report on their progress by the end of April each year.  For some pledges, partners will be asked to report using pre-defined quantitative measures, while for others they will be asked for a narrative update.  Further information on the reporting arrangements for each pledge is available.  All annual updates will be published on this website.

We are currently developing a web-based system that will allow partners to complete their delivery plans and annual updates online from 2013.

Partners signed up to F3 (a).
Partners signed up to F3 (b).

[1] to remove partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (pHVO)

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