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Recently, the Bombay High Court restrained the Amul advertisement depicting the difference between ice-cream and frozen desserts, and said that it actually amounted to slander of goods. This was in response to the complaint filed by Kwality Walls earlier this year in the High Court where it claimed that an advertisement from Amul was trying to mislead consumers by stating that frozen desserts sold in India contained Vanaspati a very unhealthy ingredient.

According to the definition of milk and milk products under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, an ice-cream is a product with not less than 10 per cent of milk fat, whereas frozen dessert contains vegetable fat. In the market one kg of vegetable fat (vanaspati) is about Rs. 50-55 a kg, while one kg of milk fat (ghee) is Rs. 245-350 a kg. So the difference between the price between these two products have led to the use of Vanaspati instead of real milk fat by ice cream companies to lower the manufacturing price.

We at foodnetindia maintain our stand that harmless looking Vanaspati used widely in every home in India as a cheap substitute for ghee is actually a proven harmful ingredient. This is due to the fact that it contains trans-fats which are formed when healthy vegetable oils are ‘hydrogenated’ to form solids, and to also prevent them from becoming rancid. It is typically labelled as ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oil’ or “Vegetable fat” or “Vegetable Shortening” on food labels. Trans-fatty acids help to prolong shelf life of food, and hence are used in almost every food item.

We urge the food regulator, the Government of India’s health, and food safety establishment at the highest levels, to immediately place a ban on vanaspati ghee, margarines and trans-fats in India.

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