Determination of total trans fats and oils by infrared spectroscopy for regulatory compliance

Abstract

The mandatory requirement in many countries to declare the amount of trans fat present in food products and dietary supplements has led to a need for sensitive and accurate methodologies for the rapid quantitation of total trans fats and oils. Capillary gas chromatography (GC) and infrared spectroscopy (IR) are the two methods most commonly used to identify and quantify trans fatty acids for food labeling purposes (see the article by Delmonte and Rader in this ABC issue for a detailed presentation of GC methodology). The present article provides a comprehensive review of the IR technique and the current attenuated total reflection (ATR) Fourier-transform (FT) IR methodologies for the rapid determination of total trans fats and oils. This review also addresses potential sources of interferences and inaccuracies in FTIR determinations, particularly those done at low trans levels. Recent observations have shown that the presence of saturated fats caused interferences in the FTIR spectra observed for trans triacylglycerols. The recognition and resolution of previously unresolved quantitative issues improved the accuracy and sensitivity of the FTIR methodology. Once validated, it is anticipated that the new negative second-derivative ATR-FTIR procedure will make IR spectroscopy more suitable than ever, and a rapid alternative and/or complementary method to GC, for the rapid determination of total trans fats for regulatory compliance.

Infrared light bouncing inside an internal reflection crystal

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Correspondence to M. M. Mossoba.

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Mossoba, M.M., Milosevic, V., Milosevic, M. et al. Determination of total trans fats and oils by infrared spectroscopy for regulatory compliance. Anal Bioanal Chem 389, 87–92 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-007-1262-7

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Keywords

  • Fourier transform infrared
  • Attenuated total reflection
  • Trans fats
  • Validated official methods