Trans Fat and Hydrogenation

Trans fat is widely considered the most dangerous type of fat. It occurs naturally in some meat and dairy products, but it is more often manufactured through the process of hydrogenation. Due to customer concerns, use of trans fat has greatly decreased during the past decade.

Trans fat is also referred to as trans fatty acids and partially hydrogenated oil. The industrial process called hydrogenation was discovered in the late 19th century. It occurs when hydrogen gas is added to unsaturated fat, usually vegetable oil, at a high temperature and pressure. Full hydrogenation results in saturated fat with no trans fat. Partial hydrogenation produces trans fat.

Trans fat has properties particularly desirable to industrial food producers. It lasts longer than other fats without spoiling, it can withstand ...

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