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Posted On: 27 June 2016 06:35 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:16 pm

GCC Food & Beverage Companies Embrace Commitment to Phase-Out Trans Fat

Ghadeer Ahmed
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GCC FBA to phase out trans fat

General Mills, Kellogg Company of Great Britain Limited (Dubai Branch), Mars, Mondelēz International, Nestlé Middle East, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever – GCC-based member companies of the International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA) - embrace the commitment to a trans fat phase-out in their products.

IFBA companies have taken another step in progressing the nutrition commitments they first made tothe World Health Organization in 2008 with the adoption of a worldwide commitment to phase outindustrially produced trans fatty acids (TFAs) in their products. Building on the significant individualprogress made to date and aiming to minimize intake of industrially produced TFAs, IFBA members haveagreed a common global objective to reduce TFAs in their products to nutritionally insignificant levels(less than 1 gram of trans-fat per 100 grams of product) worldwide by the end of 2018 at the latest.

In the GCC, IFBA member companies have been voluntarily reformulating their products to removepartially hydrogenated oils – the major source of trans fat in processed foods – and increasing the use ofhealthier fats, such as mono- or polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is part of their ongoing efforts towardscontinuous product reformulation for healthier options including reduction of salt, saturated fat, sugar,smaller portion sizes, and provision of product alternatives with lower calories. The World HealthOrganization’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, 2013 -2020, calls on Member States to implement policies to replace industrially produced TFAs withunsaturated fats. This new commitment by IFBA member companies reflects support for thisrecommendation, including those products sold and manufactured in the GCC.

Reducing the intake of industrial trans fats to nutritionally insignificant levels has been identified as apriority in public health nutrition in the GCC. The commitment of the GCC based IFBA companies toachieve this in the region over the next two and half years supports this objective, encouraging thebroader industry to achieve the same, and to work to define effective measures to ensure a level playingfield in this area.

Driving forward Product Formulation and Innovation is one of four IFBA global commitments beingimplemented by member companies in the GCC. Earlier this year, the member companies also launchedan enhanced version of their existing GCC Pledge on Responsible Food and Beverage Marketing toChildren, first adopted in 2010. These companies do not direct any marketing communications tochildren below 12 years old, except for products that fulfil specific nutritional criteria based on soundscientific evidence. In addition to a commitment on marketing to children, the other commitmentsincludeproviding Nutrition Information to Consumers, including implementing fact-based nutritionlabelling, and Promoting Healthy Diets and Lifestyles.

The International Food and Beverage Alliance:

The International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) is a group of eleven global food and non-alcoholicbeverage that share a common goal of helping people around the world achieve balanced diets, andhealthy, active lifestyles. IFBA is a non-commercial, non-profit making organisation, in specialconsultative status with UN ECOSOC. For more information about IFBA, please visit

In January 2009, IFBA members based in the GCC, Kellogg Company of Great Britain Limited (DubaiBranch), Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé Middle East, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, andUnilever came together with the aim and objective of rolling out the global IFBA commitments acrossthe GCC. In 2014 General Mills joined the group. As with IFBA our common goal is to help consumers inthe GCC to achieve balanced diets and healthy active lifestyles. We believe that finding andimplementing solutions to GCC public health challenges requires a whole-of- society effort and multistakeholder collaboration. As with IFBA we are committed to doing our part and leading GCC industry inthese efforts.