Saudi Arabia has obtained World Health Organization certification on trans fat elimination.
The certification to the Kingdom, through the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, positions Saudi Arabia among the first five countries worldwide to receive the recognition.
The achievement is part of Vision 2030 goals and the healthcare sector transformation program, which aim to enhance preventive measures against health risks and foster healthy lifestyles.
The WHO grants the certification based on multiple criteria, including implementing a best-practice trans-fatty acids elimination policy by the member state and establishing robust monitoring and enforcement systems.
An international technical advisory team from the UN agency examined Saudi legislation, the ability of Saudi laboratories to analyze artificial trans fats, and the mechanisms for controlling food products.
Saudi Arabia was granted certification alongside Denmark, Lithuania, Poland and Thailand.
By eliminating industrially produced trans fats, the Kingdom has improved the nutritional value of its food products and made significant strides toward achieving the targets of the health care sector transformation program.
These include increasing the average lifespan of individuals in the Kingdom, reducing the prevalence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular illnesses, and ensuring a fulfilling, healthy and high-quality life for all members of society.
In line with Vision 2030 and WHO recommendations, the SFDA developed legislation in recent years to eliminate trans fats, prohibiting the use of partially hydrogenated oils in the food industry.
The regulation applies to all foods intended for human consumption, except for completely naturally sourced hydrogenated oils and trans fats from animal products.
The second round of WHO certification on trans fat elimination will begin next year.