Marie Callender’s famous buttery, melt-in-your mouth pies may soon be banned from ovens across America.
The Food and Drug Administration made moves this week to potentially outlaw artificial trans fat, the secret ingredient that makes fried food crispy and pie crusts flaky, from the American diet.
For over ten years partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the main source of trans-fat in American diets, has been on the FDA’s watch list. In 1999 the government agency demanded that food manufacturers disclose the amount of trans-fats of Nutrition Fact labels, which became effective in 2006.
Now, the FDA has taken it a step further, declaring that PHOs are no longer “generally recognized as safe.”
The FDA’s preliminary ban on the artery-clogging food additive won praise from others who have taken steps to eliminate certain foods from the American diet.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who banned NYC restaurants from serving foods with artificial trans fats in 2007, said on Thursday, “The FDA deserves great credit for taking this step, which will help Americans live longer, healthier lives.”
Although some businesses, such as McDonalds, have willingly made an effort eliminate the additive from its products over the years, a comprehensive ban on PHOs may prove difficult for companies that consider it a staple ingredient in their recipes.
“For something like a cooking oil, it’s easier to find an alternative, but food manufacturers have to think about the texture of their products, so it’s much more of an effort for them to find alternatives,” Euromonitor analyst Lauren Bandy explained to the WSJ.
The FDA has now opened a 60-day comment period on the determination and will then evaluate the feedback. If they decide to proceed with their conclusion regarding the safety of trans-fats, foods with the ingredient will then be subject to pre-market approval by the FDA. Foods with additives that are unapproved are not allowed to be legally sold in the United States.
Here is a list of some of your favorite treats that contain trans-fats:
- Microwave popcorn
- Frozen pizza
- Vegetable shortenings and stick margarines
- Coffee creamers
- Biscuits and cinnamon rolls
- Ready-to-use frostings
- French fries
- Chicken nuggets
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