Elements within the Nutrition Facts table
Fat and fatty acids
The FDR defines fats and fatty acids in their different forms.
Trans fatty acids
Health Canada describes the fatty acids that make up fats in foods, including trans fats and saturated fats. The information also includes what dietary fats are, why trans and saturated fats are an issue, where trans fats come from, what the main dietary sources of trans fats are, how to reduce trans fat intake, and what is being done to reduce trans fats in food.
Most of the trans fatty acids in our diet come from processed foods such as bakery products, fast foods and snack foods, which are made with shortening, margarine or oils containing partially hydrogenated oils and fats. They fall within the definition of trans fatty acids and must be included in the trans declaration in the Nutrition Facts table on the label.
Some trans fatty acids are naturally present at low levels in some foods, such as dairy products and meat. Most naturally present trans fatty acids fall within the definition of trans fatty acids and must be included in the trans declaration in the Nutrition Facts table on the label. Conjugated polyunsaturated fatty acids are not included in the label declaration of the trans content of the food because they do not fall within the trans definition. For example, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) found in dairy products and conjugated linolenic acid (CLN) should not be included in the trans fat declaration in the Nutrition Facts table. Laboratories are able to measure the trans fat content of a food, as defined in the FDR, and must not include the amount of conjugated fatty acids, such as CLA or CLN, as part of the analysis for trans fat content.
The CFIA recommends using the Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC International, Official Method 996.06 to determine the trans fatty acid content of foods. For further information see Appendix 4 - Laboratory Issues in CFIA's Nutrition labelling compliance test.
The Nutrition Facts tables on many imported products do not declare trans fat (see example in the image above). This is not acceptable, as trans fat is a core nutrient that must be declared in Canada.
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