Trans fatty acid content in a selection of margarines sourced from a local market in Thailand
In 2018, the Thai Food and Drug Administration (Thai FDA) amended its rules to prohibit the use of partial hydrogenated ingredients containing trans fatty acids in foodstuffs. The ruling was based upon several studies, each of which had noted a discernible link between the consumption of trans fatty acids and a rise in the appearance of cardiovascular disease (CVD). For this study, 11 commercial spreads, shortenings and margarines were examined for their fatty acid content. The products were both locally produced (Thai) and international brands. Total fat, saturated fat and the trans fatty acid as trans-Elaidic acid and natural trans fatty acid as trans-Linolelaidic acid were all measured separately. It was found that 3 local, budget-priced brands, none of which carried any TFA declaration, contained approximately 6-10% TFA. A further 6 local brands which all carried a TFA declaration were found to typically contain between 4-7% TFA. The remaining two imported products, neither of which carried a TFA declaration, both contained betweucten 4-5% of TFA. When comparisons were made drawing upon data on similar prods from other countries, it was noted that locally produced (Thai) margarines and spreads in this study contained a higher TFA content. Considering the high occurrence of CVD in Thailand, it is self-evident that the increase in risk resulting from a high intake of TFA should not be ignored.