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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: New and Existing Oils and Fats Used in Products with Reduced Trans Fatty Acid Content

Authors
item Tarrago-Trani, M - Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
item Phillips, K - Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
item Lemar, Linda
item Holden, Joanne

Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 25, 2006
Publication Date: January 12, 2006
Citation: Tarrago-Trani, M.T., Phillips, K.M., Lemar, L.E., Holden, J.M. 2006. New and existing oils and fats used in products with reduced trans fatty acid content. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 106:867-880.

Interpretive Summary: The FDA has passed a final ruling mandating the declaration of total trans fat on food labels, effective January 1, 2006. This action has increased efforts by the food industry to lower or eliminate trans fat in fats and oils and the products in which they are used. Through the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program (NFNAP), the Nutrient Data Laboratory has been supporting analytical analyses of selected foods for trans fatty acids and has been acquiring data from other sources to monitor changes in trans fat levels in selected foods. These data are being disseminated in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference at www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp. The main objective of the paper is to provide dietitians and health professionals, who are concerned about the level of trans fat in the American diet, with an overview of the structure and formation of trans fatty acids in foods and to acquaint them with the newly formulated products and current procedures being utilized by the edible oil industry to reduce trans fat in the US food supply. Ranges of trans fat in selected categories of food are given in this paper. With the increasing variety of alternative fat ingredients in the market, it will be a ongoing challenge for researchers to keep abreast of formulation changes and the impact that new fatty acid profiles have on human health status, not only from the standpoint of trans fat, but also from the standpoint of alterations in saturated fat levels and relative levels of essential fatty acids.

Technical Abstract: Increasing health concerns about the level of trans fatty acids in the American diet and the final ruling by the FDA that total trans fat be included on nutrition facts panels on food labels effective January 1, 2006 have accelerated efforts by the food industry to lower or eliminate trans fat in fats and oils and the products in which they’re used. Through the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program (NFNAP), the Nutrient Data Laboratory has been supporting analytical analyses of selected foods for trans fatty acids and is disseminating these data in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Such data are critical for scientists monitoring the changing trans fat intake of the US population. In the final trans fat labeling regulation, the FDA reported that the average trans fatty acid intake of US adults is 5.8 g/capita. The main objective of the paper is to present the reader with an overview of the structure and formation of trans fatty acids in foods and to present a comprehensive review of the newly formulation products and current procedures practiced by the edible oil industry to reduce trans fat in the US food supply. Ranges of trans fat in selected categories of food are given in this paper. As manufacturers continue to find ways to use new and existing oils and fats to reduce trans fat in their products, there will be a continuing challenge for researchers to track changes in the entire fatty acid profile of products, trans fat levels, relative omega-3/omega-6 fatty acid levels, and alterations in the saturated fatty acid profile of foods.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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