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‘Considerable’ lowering of trans-fat levels in Spanish bakery products

By Nathan Gray , 12-Dec-2012
Last updated on 12-Dec-2012 at 13:20 GMT

The level of trans-fats in Spanish bakery products has been ‘considerably’ lowered to levels that are well within those regarded as safe. As a result it is now important to update food composition databases to accurately estimate human intakes, say researchers.

The new study – published in Food Chemistry – analysed analyse the lipid profile of different bakery products currently commercialised in Spain – finding that no significant levels trans-fats were found in any of the analysed products, regardless of brand origin.

The team, led by Diana Ansorena  from the University of Navarra, Spain, added that the tests were performed primeraliy on bakery products that have traditionally had a high fat and trans fatty acid (TFA) content –both premium and store brands for each product were included in the study.

“The study reported here demonstrates a considerable decrease in TFA amounts in Spanish bakery products in the last years, as well as no important differences between store brands and premium ones,” said Ansorena and her team.

“Nevertheless, more studies are definitively needed to cover a wider range of bakery products and other processed foods,” they added – noting that accurate estimations of dietary intakes can only be done if the tools used for that purpose are properly updated.

Reduction

The team found that trans-fat levels were low in all of the analysed products – giving, on average, 0.68g/100 g of fatty acids and 0.19g/100 g of product.

“These values are far from the limit established by the Danish legislation, which is the only one in force nowadays in Europe regarding trans levels in foods,” said the researchers.

“Only slightly lower values were found in premium brands compared to store brands for two of the products (sobaos and chocolate nut spreads), leading to conclude that the brand seems not to be a relevant factor to be taken into account when evaluating the TFA in bakery products. 

“Comparing these average data with those shown in Spanish food composition tables obtained within the TRANSFAIR study [in 1999] and other works on Spanish bakery products a great decrease can be observed,” said the team.

Source: Food Chemistry
Volume 138, Issue 1 , 1 May 2013, Pages 422–429, doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.10.096
“2012: No trans fatty acids in Spanish bakery products”
Authors: Diana Ansorena, Andrea Echarte, Rebeca Ollé, Iciar Astiasarán

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