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August 31, 2020

S. Bhandari, P. Delmonte, M. Honigfort, W. Yan, F. Dionisi, M. Fleith, D. Iassonova, L. Bergeson, “Regulatory Changes Affecting the Production and Use of Fats and Oils: Focus on Partially Hydrogenated Oils,” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, Volume 97, Issue 8, August 2020.

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Partially hydrogenated oils (PHO), the products of incomplete catalytic hydrogenation of food oils, have been widely employed by the food industry for more than a century. Their exceptional stability and technologic characteristics made them the preferred choice for the production of several food products including margarines, bakery goods, and frying oils. Some of these highly prized characteristics were provided by the high content in trans fatty acids (TFA), defined as fatty acids with one or more isolated double bond in trans configuration. The discovery of negative health effects associated with dietary intake of TFA triggered world-wide a wave of regulatory actions aimed to curb their consumption. PHO became the main target of most campaigns aimed to reduce consumption of TFA, and their fortune in the food industry progressively faded. At the 2017, AOCS Annual Meeting in Orlando, a group of experts from regulatory agencies and industry from North America and Europe met to discuss the current status of government regulations and industry adaptations regarding the productions and use of PHO. The discussion was enriched by including the impact on fats and oils production of the 2016 amendment of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). The present publication may not include all regulatory changes that took place after this symposium, in 2017.