As food manufacturers seek ways to help improve consumer diets, Cargill is supporting our customers by committing to remove iTFAs from its entire global edible oils portfolio. This helps both Cargill and its customers comply with the World Health Organization's (WHO) recommended standard of a maximum two grams of industrially produced trans-fatty acids (iTFA) per 100 grams fats/oils by the end of 2023.
The WHO's REPLACE initiative provides a guide for governments and industry to implement a best practice on iTFA in the global food supply chain to address related health concerns. Cargill is the first edible oils supplier to make this commitment, joining many of the world's largest food companies and members of the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) who have committed to the WHO goal.
Over the last 25 years, Cargill has removed an estimated one billion pounds (nearly 500,000 metric tons) of iTFAs from the global food supply, resulting in approximately 89% of its global edible oils portfolio already meeting the WHO's iTFA best practice. With this commitment, the company will now achieve 100% compliance, including in countries where there currently is no legislative mandate. To achieve this final 11%, the company is significantly investing in upgrades at several facilities to reduce the amount of iTFAs produced during the oil manufacturing process and leveraging decades of innovation expertise to provide food customers alternative formulations that will help them meet the WHO best practice.
This commitment from Cargill builds on decades of innovation to address iTFAs, which are primarily formed through the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils (PHO), but also can result from high thermal treatment during the refining process. While iTFA regulations are in place in approximately 40 countries, either through PHO bans or limits to maximum amounts of iTFAs in food, they remain a health concern in many locations.
Cargill's innovation centers have made significant advancements toward reformulating alternatives to products that contain iTFAs, offering more than 300 global customers viable and safer solutions to date. These innovations demonstrate that it is not only feasible to meet the WHO best practice on iTFAs, but it can be done without discernably changing the taste or texture of consumers' favorite foods.
To support the WHO's efforts, Cargill will also support the industry through engagement with targeted regional and national stakeholders, such as governments and oil industry federations, to support industry-wide reformulations particularly in countries where legislation is not yet in place.