What is trans fat?

The World Health Organization (who) has said it plans to eliminate trans fats from the global food supply chain by 2023.

As soon as the news came out, there was an uproar of public opinion. According to the previous statistics of who, more than 500000 people die of cardiovascular diseases caused by trans fat intake every year.

What is trans fat?

Where does it come from?

Fat is triglycerides formed from fatty acids and glycerol. Trans fat is a kind of fatty acid. It is a kind of unsaturated fatty acid because it has one or more “non conjugated trans double bonds” in its chemical structure. There are two main sources of it.

One is from natural food. Yes, you are right. There are also natural foods. The most important sources are meat, fat, milk and related dairy products of ruminants such as cattle and sheep. This is because ruminants have a lot of bacteria in their stomachs that ferment to produce trans fat during digestion and then enter the animal. Therefore, beef, milk and tallow contain a small amount of trans fat, accounting for about 2% – 5% of the total fat.

In addition, human milk also contains trans fat, about 1% – 10%.

The second source of trans fat is processing. The most important process is hydrogenation and refining of vegetable oil. In addition, when the oil temperature is too high and the time is too long, a small amount of trans fatty acids will be produced.

In China, there are two kinds of foods with high trans fat content. One is natural and margarine and butter, with an average content of 2G / 100g; the other is vegetable oil with an average content of 0.86g/100g; the average content of trans fat in other foods is generally relatively low.

In addition, some foods, such as cocoa butter chocolate, French fries, potato chips, cakes, waffles, sandwich biscuits, etc., have high trans fat content due to the use of hydrogenated oil in the production process.