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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Jul 27;53(15):5982-4.

Preparation of spread oils meeting U.S. Food and Drug Administration Labeling requirements for trans fatty acids via pressure-controlled hydrogenation.

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  • 1National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1815 North University Street, Peoria, Illinois 61604, USA.


On July 11, 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced final regulations for trans fatty acid (TFA) labeling. By January 1, 2006, the TFA content of foods must be labeled as a separate line on the Nutrition Facts label. Products containing <0.5 g of TFA/14 g serving may be declared as zero. This paper describes technologies allowing compliance with TFA labeling requirements. Soybean oil was hydrogenated in a 2-L vessel at temperatures ranging from 120 to 170 degrees C at a hydrogen pressure of 200 psi. A commercial nickel-supported catalyst (25% Ni) was used at 0.02% Ni by weight of oil. The hydrogenated oils were characterized for fatty acid composition, solid fat content, and melting point. Compared to commercially processed soybean oil basestocks that typically contain approximately 40% TFA, those obtained at lower temperatures and higher pressures contain >56% less TFA. Basestocks prepared in the laboratory when blended with liquid soybean oil will yield spread oils meeting FDA labeling requirements for zero TFA, that is, <0.5 g of TFA/serving.

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