Olive oil in food spreads
Keywords:Olive oil, Hydrogenation, Trans fatty acids, Monounsaturated fatty acids, Fat spread, Mediterranean diet
Chemical hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids is a commonly applied reaction to food industries. The process may imply the movement of double bonds in their positions on the fatty acid carbon chain, producing positional and geometrical isomers ( trans fatty acids). Through hydrogenation, unsaturated oils are converted to margarines and vegetable shortenings. The presence of trans fatty acids in foods is undesirable, as trans fatty acids raise the plasma levels of total and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), while decrease the plasma level of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), among other effects. The use of olive oil to prepare fat spread opens new insights into the commercial development of healthy novel foods with a positive image in terms of consumer appeal.
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