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Food Manufacturers Get More Time to Eliminate Partially Hydrogenated Oils

The Food and Drug Administration has extended the compliance dates for certain uses of partially hydrogenated oils, which the FDA has determined are not generally recognised as safe for any use in human food. PHOs are found in a substantial number of processed foods, including some snack foods, microwave popcorn, frozen pizzas, cookies, stick margarine, shortening, coffee creamers, pies and ready-to-use frostings.

The FDA states that for the majority of uses of PHOs, 18 June 2018 remains the date after which manufacturers cannot add PHOs to foods. However, to allow for an orderly transition in the marketplace, the FDA has extended to 1 January 2020 the compliance date for products produced with PHOs prior to 18 June 2018.

Separately, the FDA has denied a petition requesting approval for PHOs used as (i) a solvent or carrier, or a component thereof, for flavouring agents, flavour enhancers and colouring agents intended for food use; (ii) a processing aid or a component thereof; or (iii) a pan release agent for baked goods. To allow for time for reformulation, however, the FDA is giving manufacturers until 18 June 2019 to stop manufacturing foods with the petitioned uses of PHOs and until 1 January 2021 for these products to work their way through distribution.

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