Food manufacturers soon may need to find — and not just consider — alternatives to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. The Food and Drug Administration believes partially hydrogenated oils (P.H.O.s) no longer belong on the list of ingredients generally recognized as safe. The agency has published a Nov. 8 Federal Register notice to that effect with the goal of removing artificial trans fats from processed foods.
Partial hydrogenation brings about artificial trans fat in food products. According to the F.D.A., consuming trans fat raises low-density lipoprotein (L.D.L.) or “bad” cholesterol, which increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
Food companies have several alternative oils to choose from when they start experimenting to eliminate P.H.O.s. Oils sourced from canola, palm, soybean and sunflower are options, as are oil blends.