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The Trans-Fatty Acids (TFAs) Elimination Project in Africa’s technical team comprising members from the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) and Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) has concluded its two-day workshop meeting today, marking a significant milestone in the fight against trans-fatty acids (TFAs) in Zimbabwe. The team, comprising experts from both institutions, is working diligently to develop a strategy and monitoring framework to eliminate TFAs in the country’s food system.
The project aims to advocate for a 2% TFA limit on all foods in Zimbabwe, with the ultimate goal of reducing the health risks associated with TFA consumption. The team is proposing to establish a TFA policy and build a coalition to facilitate the implementation of the project.
Dr Melody Ndemera, the Principal Investigator on the project, emphasized the importance of understanding the current TFA situation in Zimbabwe and developing a strategy to reduce its presence in the food system. “Our goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current TFA situation in Zimbabwe and develop a strategy to reduce its presence in our food system,” said Dr Ndemera.
The project’s significance was highlighted by CUT’s Pro Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Administration, Professor Irvin Mpofu, who stated that higher institutions must collaborate in eliminating this significant health problem Zimbabwe is currently facing. “So, what is important is to have higher learning institutions collaborating and coming up with solutions, either from a policy point of view, regulatory point of view, technological point of view, in helping the country in dealing with non-communicable diseases, emanating from some of the things that we find in our food, like the trans-fatty acids,” he said.
Prof. Mpofu also emphasized the importance of addressing the health risks associated with TFA consumption. “Trans-fatty acids have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems. We must take proactive steps to reduce their presence in our food system,” he said.
This collaborative work is expected to contribute significantly to the country’s efforts to improve public health and reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases. The project’s findings will also inform policy decisions and guide the development of effective strategies to reduce TFA levels in Zimbabwe.
The next step for the technical team is to conduct a thorough analysis of the data collected during the baseline study and develop a comprehensive report outlining the project’s findings and recommendations. The report will be shared with stakeholders, including policymakers, government agencies, food manufacturers, and consumers, to ensure that everyone is informed about the project’s progress and goals.
The first-day meeting was held at the Bronte Hotel on 28 May 2024 where several issues including the project objectives, tasks, identification of stakeholders, and a SWOT analysis were covered.

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