The first of this month marked the official start of New York City's full ban on trans fats in bakeries and restaurants. The city's health department first implemented the ban last year, but it applied only to fry oils and spreads at that time.
Knowing the July 1, 2008 deadline was looming, New York City bakers and restaurateurs had about 18 months to reformulate their products to take out oils with trans fat caused by partial hydrogenation. The city set up a telephone hotline; a Web site, www.notransfatnyc.org, and called in AIB International, Manhattan, Kan., for help testing a variety of oil alternatives for baked products. Butter, palm oils and even lard have moved back into fashion in the city, and most bakeries seem to have made the switch.
The New York Post reported in a July 1 article, “NJ bakers' fat chance,” that some New Jersey bakers, where there is no such ban, are hoping New York customers will cross the river to get their trans fat fix.
“We hope this will be good for business. We'll still be baking the old-fashioned way,” said Sal Picinich, Carlo's Bakery, Hoboken, N.J., in the New York Post article.
Ironically, other bakeries turned to an older, old-fashioned way for help reformulating without trans fats: formulas and recipes from before World War II, when partial hydrogenation became popular.