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Fatty Acid Composition in Local and International Food Products Available in the Maldives

Author(s):

Aishath Naila*, Raheema Abdul Raheem and Aishath Shaheen Ismail   Pages 1 - 8 ( 8 )

Abstract:


Background: Consumption of food high in saturated and trans fatty acids is a risk factor associated with non-communicable diseases such as overweight, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Till to-date, no study has been carried out to analyze fatty acid contents in the food products available in the Maldives markets.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the fatty acid contents in the food products available in the Maldives supermarkets that are both locally produced and imported into the country. The objective of the study was to collect local and imported food products from the three island markets of the Maldives (Hdh Kulhudhufuish, Naviyani Fuvahmulah and Male’), and analyze the collected food samples for fatty acid composition.

Methods: A purposive sampling was used to collect fatty food products from the markets of three major islands of the Maldives, Male’, Kulhudhufushi and Fuvahmulah. Total 180 samples were collected and analysed in an accredited laboratory situated in Sri-Lanka, SGS Lanka Laboratory Pvt Ltd.

Results: The results revealed that 92% of the analyzed products did not detect trans fat and only 7% of the product contained trans fat in the range between <1 to 1.64%. The lowest and highest saturated fatty acids found were in Gulab jamun (0.18 ± 0.03%) and GRB Ghee (62.26 ± 0.68%), respectively. The total fat, mono unsaturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids ranged between 0.45 ± 0.07% to 99.9 ± 0.00%, 0.075 ± 0.01% to 73.58 ± 1.08%, and 0.02 ± 0% to 57.04 ± 0.16%, respectively.

Conclusion: The food products available in the Maldives supermarkets contained polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids, which are healthy for the human body. However, the food products also contained saturated fatty acids and trans fats, which may contribute to non-communicable diseases in excess consumption. However, the finding of this study did not provide the total intake of trans fat and saturated fatty acids by individuals. Thus, it is recommended to conduct a dietary survey to assess the fatty acid intake level of the population and to develop and regulate the dietary guidelines based on the dietary survey findings. Based on the findings of this study, it is suggested to conduct awareness programs on the importance of reducing the consumption of trans fats and saturated fatty acids.

Keywords:

Transfat, non-communicable disease, cardiovascular diseases (CDC), polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, fatty acids, Maldives, saturated fatty acids, GRB Ghee, Gulab jamun, Fuvahmulah, Kulhudhufushi, Islands

Affiliation:

The Research Development Office, The Maldives National University, Rahdhebai Hi’ngun, Malé, The Research Development Office, The Maldives National University, Rahdhebai Hi’ngun, Malé, Central Administration, The Maldives National University, Rahdhebai Hi’ngun, Malé



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