MadSci Network: Biochemistry

Re: Is there a way one can measure the amount of trans fat in a food?

Date: Tue Dec 21 09:51:27 2004
Posted By: Alfred Bushway, Professor of Food Science
Area of science: Biochemistry
ID: 1103425304.Bc

Dear Marzieh,

You have posed some interesting questions, which I will attempt to answer.
First, if a food contains less than 0.5 g of trans fat per serving it can
be labeled as containing 0 trans fat. This value was established based on
the fact that current analtical methods cannot accurately measure levels of
trans fat lower than this. The trans fat content of foods can be measured
by gas chromatography or infrared spectrophotometry. Both of these methods
require sophisticated instrumentation. Currently, there are no simple
methods for measuring the trans fat content of foods. Thus, you would not
be able to do this yourself. Listed below are a couple of websites with
additional information on trans fat.

Hope this information helps to answer your questions.

Al Bushway
Professor of Food Science

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