Food Law News - UK - 1996

May 1996: NOVEL FOODS AND PROCESSES - Food Safety Clearance of Enzymic Interesterification Process

May 1996

ACNFP Report: Use of Interesterified Fats/Oils in Yellow Fat Spreads
FOOD SAFETY CLEARANCE - Enzymic Interesterification Process

The Government has accepted advice from the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP). It has extended the scope of food safety clearance already given for the use of an enzymic interesterification process to allow the production of fats and oils for use in yellow fat spreads. The previous application had resulted in the approval for the use of fats/oils produced by a novel enzymic interesterification process, in chocolate and confectionery fats and as an ingredient at up to 20% in frying fats. The manufacturer (Unilever) had sought permission to use fats/oils produced by the process in yellow fat spreads.

Enzymically modified vegetable oil is produced by using enzymes to restructure the fats present in an oil, this is followed by conventional refining techniques. The enzymes intended for use in this process are currently being considered by the Food Advisory Committee (FAC) and the Committee on Toxicity (COT)

During its considerations, the ACNFP noted that the basic principles of the process were the same as those considered previously, the only difference being the that the starting materials were adjusted to obtain fats/oils suitable for use in yellow fat spreads. The Committee reviewed data which suggested that the use of these fats/oils in margarine and spreads would have a beneficial nutritional effect in that it would reduce the amount of saturated, trans fatty acids in such spreads and hence reduce the intake from theses sources.

Copies of the report are available from the Ministry.

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