Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trans Fatty Acids: What Are They And Why Shouldn't You Eat Them?

Date:
September 24, 2003
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Just what is the skinny on those trans fatty acids that are so bad for you? Donuts, stick margarines, French fries, cookies and other tasty snacks are loaded with them. And this summer the Food and Drug Administration decreed that as of Jan. 1, 2006, manufacturers must break the trans fats category out of the total fat listing on labels.

Just what is the skinny on those trans fatty acids that are so bad for you? Donuts, stick margarines, French fries, cookies and other tasty snacks are loaded with them. And this summer the Food and Drug Administration decreed that as of Jan. 1, 2006, manufacturers must break the trans fats category out of the total fat listing on labels.

Related Articles


Chemical &Engineering News, in its Sept. 22 issue, describes the chemistry of these culprits. C&EN is the newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

In issuing its order, the FDA relied mainly on an Institute of Medicine report that concluded that consuming foods containing trans fatty acids raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and the risk of coronary heart disease, according to C&EN. The IOM recommended people keep their consumption of trans fats as low as possible, and to help consumers do this the FDA issued the labeling requirement.

What are trans fatty acids?

Unsaturated fats, found in such foods as avocados and olive and corn oils are heart healthy, but in the air they can go rancid by absorbing oxygen and then decompose, C&EN explains. Manufacturers can stop this process by bubbling hydrogen (hydrogenation) through the fat at a high temperature in the presence of a catalyst like nickel and in the absence of oxygen.

The process raises a fat's melting point, turning liquid vegetable oil into products ranging from soft margarine to solid shortening, according to the newsmagazine. When the healthful unsaturated fats are partially hydrogenated, the double bonds are rearranged, converting some to the trans configuration and shifting the double bonds along the chain. Unfortunately, this newly created trans fatty acid is an artery-clogger.

Amid the criticism of cookies, chips and other products containing trans fat, a number of companies have either developed foods without partially hydrogenated oils or have pledged to explore ways of replacing the fat. PepsiCo's Frito Lay, for example, has already eliminated trans fats from some of its products.

To access the C&EN article on trans fats, go to: http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/8138/8138sci4.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Trans Fatty Acids: What Are They And Why Shouldn't You Eat Them?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030924055334.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2003, September 24). Trans Fatty Acids: What Are They And Why Shouldn't You Eat Them?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030924055334.htm
American Chemical Society. "Trans Fatty Acids: What Are They And Why Shouldn't You Eat Them?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030924055334.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins