FDA Files GMA Petition for Partially Hydrogenated Oils

November 2, 2015

By Diane B. McColl

On October 28, 2015, FDA announced that a food additive petition (FAP) submitted by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) for minor uses of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHOs) was accepted for filing on October 1, 2015 (Docket No. FDA-2015-F-3663).  GMA’s FAP seeks to preserve minor uses of PHOs because they deliver consumer-desired textural characteristics that other oils cannot provide, such as flakiness in doughs, and they function as essential processing aids such as pan release agents so that products do not stick to baking trays and rollers during the manufacturing process (see GMA press release here).  GMA’s FAP covers partially hydrogenated soy, cottonseed, coconut, canola, palm, palm kernel and sunflower oils.  The proposed minor uses include as a carrier for flavors, as a diluent for color additives, as an incidental additive, including as a processing aid, and certain specified uses in defined food categories.  Because the TFA content of PHOs varies widely, maximum TFA limits rather than PHO use levels are assigned to each of the proposed uses.  FDA also requested public comments on the Environmental Assessment that accompanied the FAP.  Comments are due by November 27, 2015.