Fatty acid composition and nutritional relevance of most widely consumed margarines in Spain
Keywords:Atherogenicity index, Fatty acids, Linoleic acid, Margarines, Trans isomers, Thrombogenicity index
This study examines the fatty acid composition of margarines of major consumption in Spain in 2000. All the margarines contained at least 20% of linoleic acid, the average content of this fatty acid being 38%. Saturated fatty acids (lauric and miristic acids) did not exceed 4 % of the total fatty acid content. Most of the margarines analyzed contained less than 5% trans C18:1, although this content varied greatly among margarines (coefficient of variation: 112%) being median value 2.5%; polyunsaturated trans C18:2 and trans C18:3 did not represent more than 1 %. Nutritionally important ratios like saturated/unsaturated fatty acids, thrombogenicity and atherogenicity indexes were lower than 0.5. The findings suggest that Spanish margarines have moved to becoming products with a potentially healthier distribution of fatty acids. Even so, the great variability shown in fatty acid composition of margarines and poor labeling, highlight the importance of greater consumer information to avoid upsetting the traditional Mediterranean diet of Spain
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