Content of trans fatty acids in margarines, plant oils, fried products and chocolate spreads in Austria
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On the Austrian market a selection of the available margarines, refined and cold pressed plant oils, chocolate spreads, snacks and fast food products were collected and the content of trans-fatty acids (TFA) was determined by a GLC procedure. The highest levels of TFA were observed in fast food products (mean, 5.9%, maximum, 21% of fatty acids), chocolate spreads (mean, 4.9%, maximum, 8.9% of fatty acids) and snacks (mean, 2.9%, maximum, 16% of fatty acids). Margarines with a "<1% TFA" declaration contained low amounts (0.3–0.8%), while the content of margarines with no such declaration was much higher (3.0–3.7%). A 7 h oxidation of plant oils at 120 °C demonstrated that the higher levels of TFA in heated oils are not associated with oxidation processes at this temperature. Based on the analysed data, the mean TFA intake (currently <4 g/day) has decreased due to a change in manufacturing conditions and the choice of unhydrogenated plant oils. In spite of this a diet high in snacks, fast food products or chocolate spreads, all products which are popular amongs children and adolescents, may increase the TFA intake up to >10 g/day.
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