The Order of the Minister for Health of the Republic of Lithuania establishing the maximum limits for trans fatty acids in foods aims to meet dietary recommendations which urge to limit the intake of trans fatty acids (TFA). In accordance with earlier EFSA opinions (2004 and 2010), a reduction of TFA intakes may contribute to a reduction in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases. Statistics show that the disease and death toll of vascular diseases have a considerable impact on the Baltic State. For that reason limits on on the presence of TFA for foods placed on the Lithuanian market are adopted.
The draft order introduces a maximum limit of 2 gram of trans fatty acids per 100 gram of the total fat content. For foods with a fat content of less than 3%, the maximum limit is will be 10 g per 100g of the total fat content. Ruminant fats and other foods with naturally present TFA are exempted from the restriction.
With its notification Lithuania does not await a potential European ban which has been anticipated by the European Commission (see following link). Lithuania is not the first country to adopt restrictions on TFA. Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden already have regulations of TFA in force.