Issue Date: February 3, 2014
Consider The Source
Deirdre Lockwood’s article on the Food & Drug Administration’s proposal to ban trans fats does not deal with the important point that heat is another significant and controllable source for creation of these fats (C&EN, Dec. 16, 2013, page 24).
Heat, as in cooking, converts naturally occurring cis fats finally to an equilibrium mixture of the trans and cis isomers in which the trans isomer is usually favored. The extent of reaction is, of course, dependent on time, temperature, and structure. The thermal isomerization of olefins has been known for a very long time.
Edward J. Behrman
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