Trans fatty acids - Definition

Mar 2014   Definition of trans fats
Trans fatty acids (TFA) are trans-isomer of unsaturated fatty acids (UFA).
In Trans fats, in the configuration of a double carbon bond, the next two hydrogen atoms are positioned on the opposite sides.
As the configuration is connected with double carbon chain, TFA is either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, but never saturated.

Partially hydrogenating vegetable oils under pressure create Trans FAs from UFA.
The amount of pressure, quantity of hydrogen passed, time taken for the process and the temperatures involved determine and define the percentage TFA created.

In nature trans FAs are present in small amounts in a few animal products.
Meat and milk of ruminants contain vaccenyl and conjugated linoleyl (CLA) containing trans configuration.
In fact CLA has one cis configuration and one trans configuration, making it simultaneously a cis- and a TFA.
In breast milk small quantities of trans FA are present and the quantity increases with increased consumption of TFA by the mother.

Consumption of TFA has been identified as a primary risk for cardiovascular diseases.
The use of TFA is universal in the food industry and it can be found in many food items such as cakes, cookies, baked products, pizza, fast food and biscuits.
Now in many countries it is mandatory to display nutritional information in the food products including the amount of trans FAs present.


"An unsaturated fatty acid produced by the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils and present in hardened vegetable oils, most margarines, commercial baked foods, and many fried foods." as defined by definition: "a fatty acid that has been produced by hydrogenating an UFA (and so changing its shape); found in processed foods such as margarine and fried foods and puddings and commercially baked goods and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils."

Related topics in nutritional deficiency diseases:
Krill oil omega-3.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Arachidonic acid (ARA).
Zinc deficiency symptoms.
Zinc immune system.
Selenium sulfide shampoo.
Fish oil DHA.
DHA supplements.
DHA from algae.
DHA and pregnancy.

Talking About Trans: What You Need to Know-U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Current topic in nutritional deficiency diseases:
Definition of trans fats.

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