Skip to main content

December 12, 2019

RTSL and GHAI Release Sampling Protocol for Rapid Assessment of Trans-Fatty Acids in Foods

Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL) and the Global Health Advocacy Incubator have developed a guide for governments, public health professionals and advocates to assess the levels of trans fatty acids (TFAs) in commonly available foods and in widely-used fats and oils. Identifying and assessing TFAs is the first step to eliminating it from the food supply.

The new protocols are based on assessment guides developed and used successfully by GHAI in Bangladesh and Nigeria and by RTSL in India.

An early version of the tool being used in Nigeria

Cooking oil in Nigeria

Artificial trans fat is estimated to cause 540,000 deaths every year. The World Health Organization recommends that TFAs make up no more than 1% of any individual’s daily calories.  Fortunately, TFA can be eliminated and replaced with healthier alternatives without altering taste or increasing cost.

The new protocols provide procedural guidance for designing a study and collecting samples for laboratory analysis for the rapid assessment of trans fatty acids in fats/oils and foods. The protocols include a sample questionnaire for sampling commonly consumed products at informal markets. The results can be used to raise awareness and support policy action for the elimination of iTFAs or to monitor compliance with existing regulations.

Access the tools: