Substitution of trans fatty acids in foods on the Danish market

  • Bysted A
  • Mikkelsen A
  • Leth T
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Abstract

Three surveys of the content of trans fatty acids (TFA) in foods on the Danish market were carried out before and after the Danish regulation was introduced in January 2004 restricting the use of industrially produced (IP)-TFA to a maximum of 2 g per 100 g fat in any food product. For this purpose, food samples were collected in 2002-3, 2004-5, and 2006-7. Of these, 60 paired samples (defined as samples included in two of the three investigations and with higher levels of IP-TFA in the first determination than in the second) were identified. Comparisons of the fatty acid profiles showed that, in 68% of the products (e.g. sweets, cakes and cookies as well as fast food such as pie and tortilla), IP-TFA were mainly substituted with saturated fatty acids (SFA). In some cases, the SFA source was coconut fat, whereas in other products, palm oil was added instead of partially hydrogenated oils. However, in important cases like frying fats, healthier fat substitutes with monounsaturated fatty acids were used. The surveys showed that the IP-TFA content has been reduced or removed from most products with originally high IP-TFA content, like French fries, microwave oven popcorn and various bakery products, so that IP-TFA are now insignificant for the intake of TFA in Denmark.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Partial hydrogenation
  • Regulation
  • Saturated fatty acids
  • Substitution
  • Trans fatty acids

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