Our consumers have concerns about the health issues surrounding trans fats and are shifting their diets toward healthier, more nutritious foods. We are working to improve the nutritional profile of our products, in part by modifying our product ingredients to limit industrially produced trans fat (iTFA) in our foods.
Partially hydrogenated cooking oils (PHOs) are the largest contributor to iTFA in the food supply. PepsiCo has led the industry in fully removing PHOs and transitioning to alternatives such as corn, canola and sunflower oils. Building on this success, we are now working to limit iTFA content from other sources.
To the World:
Consumption of trans fats is linked to increased risk of heart disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) and other public health officials aim to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, iTFA and PHOs from the manufactured food supply to improve global health.
As a member of the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA), PepsiCo has committed:
- Not to exceed 2 grams iTFA per 100 grams of fat/oil per product by end of 2023, in line with the WHO's overall objective of phasing out iTFA and PHOs from the global food supply.
- To share best practices and help guide other companies, particularly small and medium enterprises, in the reduction of iTFA.
Because we have successfully removed all PHOs from our product portfolio globally, the majority of PepsiCo’s products already use oils that are compliant with our 2023 commitment. In addition to iTFA found in PHOs, iTFA can form at low levels during the oil refining process. PepsiCo’s Research & Development (R&D) teams and Global Oils Center of Excellence are working with our suppliers to ensure they are deploying best practice to limit this incidental iTFA formation, and updating our ingredient specifications to ensure that they comply with the IFBA target.
iTFA limits are also included in PepsiCo’s Nutrition Criteria, which are used as the basis for product formulation around the world.
PepsiCo’s efforts to reduce trans fats in our foods are part of our broader journey to offer consumers Positive Choices and reformulate products to improve nutritional content across our portfolio, including reducing added sugar, sodium, and saturated fat content. See Nutrition for more information on those efforts.
As of 2018, PepsiCo has completely removed PHOs from all product formulations globally. Our Frito-Lay U.S. business led the industry in 2003, when it removed PHOs from its products and replaced them with better oils like corn, canola and sunflower. The business also included a trans fat line on every nutrition facts panel more than two years in advance of the 2006 U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulation.
Additionally, we have worked with many of our oil suppliers to deploy best practices to limit incidental iTFA formation during the refining process and are working with the remaining suppliers to confirm that the remainder of the oils we use are compliant. We expect to meet our goal by the end of 2023.
We recognize that iTFA reduction is a highly technical process, and are committed to working with others in industry to share our expertise. In 2020, PepsiCo participated in a workshop hosted by IFBA and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), to provide business-to-business technical assistance to help local companies in Pakistan replace iTFAs in food value chains.
PepsiCo will continue to work towards achieving our 2023 goal and explore additional opportunities to share best practices to support removal of iTFAs from the global food supply.