Trans Fat Free Children – Test analysis of canteen food

Consumer VOICE took initiative to spread awareness about perils of Trans Fat with the overall objective to make Trans Fat Free Generation through its project Trans Fat Free Children besides creating awareness among consumers to limit the consumption of foods containing high levels of fat, sugar and salt ( HSSF ). Unfortunately, consumption of unhealthy foods is rapidly rising. The ultra-processed and fried foods besides sugary drinks are directly related to diabetes, obesity, cancers, heart diseases, high BP etc. This is specially attracting children who are falling prey to lifestyle diseases at an early age.

We are supporting Eat Right Campaign of the Food Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) so that citizens can make right food choices and opt for healthier option. Please find link here:

https://eatrightindia.gov.in/

Also FSSAI has now brought in Regulation to control unhealthy foods sales and advertising around schools in order to curb the consumption of unhealthy foods in and around school premises after prolonged advocacy. Please find link here:

https://fssai.gov.in/upload/media/FSSAI_News_Junk_Express_17_06_2019'.pdf

Reduced intake of salt, sugar, saturated fat & trans fat is need of the hour

SALT: Salt is the main source of sodium in our diet. WHO SEARO recommended limit of 12gms per 100 gms a day. Any excess might attract hypertensive illnesses

SUGAR: Sugar provides only calories and no other nutrient to our body. WHO recommends 250mg per 100 gms of foods. High intake of sugar is a risk factor for obesity and diabetes. FAT: Excess of saturated fat intake is a risk factor for obesity and diseases like cardiovascular ailments etc

Trans Fats : Chemical Trans fats are considered very harmful for all non-communicable diseases. Zero chemical trans fats is recommended by WHO

What is Trans Fat ?

There are two types of trans fats found in foods. Naturally formed trans-fats are found in animal products, including high-fat meat, lamb and dairy foods. While trans fats is a form of unsaturated fat, trans fat is also produced when vegetable oils are chemically altered by partial hydrogenation to stay solid at room temperature, giving them a much longer shelf life. Food manufacturers use these hydrogenated oils/vanaspati to extend shelf life, add texture, taste and increase stability.

Why are they harmful?

1) Increase the risk of heart attack, heart diseases and diabetes
2) Raise LDL  (Bad Cholesterol )and lower HDL (Good  Cholesterol )
3) May reduce serotonin production in the brain affecting mental health

We did testing through NABL accredited Laboratory in New Delhi of various food items which are commonly available in the school canteens to test – SALT, SUGAR, SATURATED FAT AND TRANS FAT.

Methodology

Survey – Our team members went to meet staff of various canteens to know what the different items available in the school canteens are before buying the products in five zones –South ,East ,West ,Central and North zone of Delhi. Based on the feedback we made list of products and their most selling brands which are sold/consumed by school going children and available in school canteens.

Approach to Laboratories – We approached laboratories and invited quotation to test the parameters –Sodium (salt ),Sugar ,Saturated Fat and Trans Fat. Based on evaluation of quotation we have finalized the laboratory.
Sample Purchase and coordination with laboratory –Based on list of food items we purchased food items (packaged and non packaged) from various zones /markets and sent them for testing in the laboratory.

Testing Results analysis – After received testing results on the parameters- SALT, SUGAR, SATURATED FAT AND TRANS FAT we made the analysis report. This report is containing details

Please click here for the complete report

REPORT SHARING WITH STAKEHOLDERS

We shared the analysis report with state partners who supported us for organizing webinars, workshops etc with schools .We also shared the report directly with various school so that they can sensitize further to various stakeholders (students ,teachers ,parents etc) about items which are not meeting the standards .

Following categories of items were purchased and tested:

Broad Categories -8
Number of Samples Tested -36 (1 item each )
Packaged Items 32 items
Non Packaged Items -4

Categories of the Samples –

1) BISCUITS
Variant 1 Glucose: ParleG, Tiger Glucose
Variant 2 Creamy: Bounce Creamy, fab Bourbon, Dark Fantasy Bourbon, BourBon, oreo
Variant 3 Cookies: Unibic choco chips, Moms Magic, Parle hide & Seek, Good Day

2) POTATO CHIPS
Variant 1- Classic salted: Lays
Variant – Flavoured -Magic masala, American style cream & onion

3) CHOCOLATE
Variant 1-Dark Chocolate-Amul, Tobleron
Variant 2 –Milk -Amul
Variant –Fruit & Nut-Dairy Milk,Munch

4) CAKE –Chocolate Britannia Cake

5) PACKAGED JUICE Variant 
Variant 1 –Orange Juice-PaperBoat
Variant 2 –Mixed Fruit Juice-Real ,PaperBoat
Variant 3 –Guava Juice –Real

6) CHHACH/LASSI Variant 
Variant 1 Plain-wink in cow
Variant 2 Tadka –Amul Masala Chach
Variant 3 –Mango-wink in cow

7) FLAVORED MILK Variant
Variant 1 – Kesar Milk-Amul,Sofit
Variant 2 –Almond Milk –Sofit
Variant 3 –Chocolate Milk –Hershey
Variant 4 –Strawberry Milk- Hershey

8) NON PACKAGED FOOD
Samosa ,Bread Pakora ,Burger and Patty

(Total Items purchased -123 out of which 91 items of packaged category and 32 items of non packaged category to make total samples )

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