Reduction of trans fatty acid contents
Relation between themes and business activities
Since the development of the hydrogenation technology as a method of processing edible oils and fats, the use of oils and fats containing trans fatty acids (TFA) has spread rapidly, contributing to the diversification of food products. However, subsequent studies revealed that a continued high TFA intake of 2% or more of the total energy intake can increases the risk of heart disease. In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) jointly recommended the maximum TFA intake to be less than 1% of the total daily energy intake.
Furthermore, in 2018, the WHO released an action package to eliminate TFA generated during the production of processed-foods. This action recommends national governments and food manufacturers to limit industrially-produced TFA to less than 2 g/100 g of total fat or oil. This action should cover all foods by 2023.
The Fuji Oil Group has an advantageous position in technologies like transesterification, which, when used in food manufacturing, does not generate TFA. Our initiatives to commercialize low- and non-trans acid oils and fats for chocolate and margarine production can contribute to providing delicious and healthy food ingredients for our customers and consumers in general.
The Fuji Oil Group has contributed to lower the general TFA intake levels in various regions in cooperation with our customers. The Group defined a basic approach toward this theme in FY 2019 to further enhance its initiatives. Since FY 2019, In line with the WHO’s recommendations, we have strengthened the in-house system to reduce industrially-produced TFA to less than 2 g/100 g of total fat or oil in the regions in which the TFA intake exceeds 1% of the total daily energy intake. This is based on our vision of “contributing to the society by creating the future of delicious and healthy foods”, declared in the Group Management Philosophy, since FY 2019.
We promote our initiatives to reduce the TFA contents of our products under the supervision of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Moreover, from FY 2020, the ESG Committee,* which is an advisory body to the Board of Directors, confirms the progress and results of these initiatives as a priority theme for ESG management.
* Refer to the URL below for details of the ESG Committee.
With the target by FY 2023 in mind, we will reduce the TFA contents of our products in compliance with TFA-related regulations in each country. We will make Group-wide efforts to manage the progress and promote initiatives, with each Group company setting a yearly target.
Response to demand for non- and low-trans acid oils and fats
Regulations on TFA use have been increasingly tightened in various areas around the world. The U.S. in particular has seen a growing demand for palm oil with low TFA content against the backdrop of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s final determination.* To enhance our response to trends toward reducing the TFA intake, Fuji Vegetable Oil (U.S.), an overseas Fuji Oil Group company, plans to put into operation a new production site in New Orleans within FY 2021.
* FDA’s final determination: Final determination released by FDA in June 2015 that manufacturers cannot add to foods the kinds of oil that are the primary source of artificial TFA, which are thought to increase the risk of heart disease, after June 2018 in principle