What is Hydrogenation?
Feb 24, · Hydrogenated oil is oil in which the essential fatty acids have been converted to a different form chemically, which has several effects. Hydrogenated oil is far more shelf stable, and will not go rancid as quickly as untreated oil. It also has a higher melting point, and is often used in frying and pastries for this reason. Olive Oil is liquid at room temperature, thus it’s an unsaturated fat. An unsaturated fat can be made in to a saturated fat by a Hydrogenation process. These are similar molecules, differing in their melting points. If the compound is a solid at room temperature, you usually call it a fat.
Saturated fats, which occur naturally in meat and dairy products, are okay in moderation. Most nutritionists tend to agree on the unhealthy consequences of partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats. In the process of hydrogenation, food manufacturers chemically alter the structure of vegetable oil; partial hydrogenation results in trans fats. This inflammatory ingredient raises your bad cholesterol LDL while lowering your good cholesterol HDLmaking it a major contributor to heart disease. The U.
Food and Drug Administration FDA now what is hydrogenation of oil all food companies to phase out artificial trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils.
The average grams per serving in reformulated products have been dropping steadily. Many products containing trans fats still what is hydrogenation of oil on store shelves, and may for years, as distribution cycles through. Trans fats are mostly found int packaged cookies and other manufactured bakery products, vegetable shortening and margarine, frozen pizzas, packages frozen meals, non-dairy coffee creamers, microwave popcorn, and canned frosting. With hydrogenation, liquid vegetable oil turns into a semi-solid or solid fat.
According to the FDA, manufacturers use hydrogenated oils to improve the texture, flavor stability, and shelf life of packaged foods. Partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fatty acids. These trans fats upset the balance between the good and bad cholesterol levels in your body, by both raising the bad and lowering the good.
This ratio has been linked to a myriad of lifestyle diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Fully hydrogenated fats, processed in the same way, contain virtually no trans fats. The resulting product is firmer than its partially hydrogenated counterpart and has a hard, waxy consistency, even at room temperature.
Fully hydrogenated products do contain saturated fat though, in the form of stearic acid, which contributes to the risk of heart disease. Sincethe FDA has required manufacturers to list the trans fat content of their products on how the grinch stole christmas play san diego ca nutrition labels. Some foods containing partially hydrogenated oils may be labeled "trans-fat-free" or list 0 grams of trans fats in the nutrition chart.
That's because products that contain less than 0. Some brands of commercial peanut butterfor example, contain a small amount of partially what is the culture like in mexico oil to prevent separation on the shelf, but can still be marketed as free of trans fats. If you eat more than the suggested serving size, those fractions of a gram add up, and suddenly the amount of consumed trans fats becomes measurable.
Beware of any package that simply lists "hydrogenated oil" in the ingredients without specifically stating whether it is partially or fully hydrogenated. Sometimes the terms "hydrogenated" and "partially hydrogenated" get incorrectly interchanged. Products with fully hydrogenated oils are actually trans-fat-free, but when manufacturers market that as a benefit, it adds to the misconception of a healthy alternative.
It's important to read the ingredients list on all packaged foods and for the healthiest choice, steer clear of any product containing any form of hydrogenated oil. Actively scan device characteristics for identification. Use precise geolocation data. Select personalised content. Create a personalised content profile. Measure ad performance. Select basic ads. Create a personalised ads profile.
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Feb 10, · Hydrogenation is a chemical process in which hydrogen gas is bubbled through a liquid oil in the presence of a catalyst, often a reactive metal such as platinum or nickel. The resulting reaction forces unsaturated fatty acids to accept additional hydrogen atoms and become at least partially saturated. Jan 12, · What Is Hydrogenated Oil? Hydrogenated oil is the term for oils that have undergone a chemical process called “hydrogenation.” Put simply, when oil is hydrogenated it . Many shortenings and margarines contain hydrogenated (hardened) oils as their major ingredients. The development of margarine and shortening products resulted from the invention of a successful method for converting low-melting unsaturated fatty acids and glycerides to higher-melting saturated products.
Hydrogenation is a chemical process in which hydrogen gas is bubbled through a liquid oil in the presence of a catalyst, often a reactive metal such as platinum or nickel. The resulting reaction forces unsaturated fatty acids to accept additional hydrogen atoms and become at least partially saturated.
In practical cooking terms, hydrogenation would convert an unsaturated vegetable oil, the kind often used for deep frying , into a partially solid form like margarine. A fully hydrogenated vegetable oil would be as thick as animal lard , but most food manufacturers do not take the hydrogenation process that far. Hydrogenating vegetable-based oils is generally less expensive than using saturated animal fats, and partial hydrogenation gives processed foods a longer shelf life. The key to understanding hydrogenation, at least as it pertains to the food industry , is the concept of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids.
Unsaturated fatty acids are primarily liquid cooking oils, because they do not contain all of the hydrogen atoms they could possibly hold. In the case of poly-unsaturated vegetable oils, some of the hydrogen atoms they do contain are stuck together in double bonds, leaving holes where hydrogen atoms would ordinarily bond. It may help to picture a fatty acid chain as a centipede who wears hydrogen boots on each leg.
In the case of unsaturated fats, the centipede is missing some hydrogen boots completely and also has two feet in the same hydrogen boot. During hydrogenation, the incoming hydrogen atoms attach themselves to the available legs and also force the double hydrogen bonds to split up.
If this process continues until all the centipedes or molecular chains have hydrogen boots, the solid oil can be described as fully saturated.
Saturated fats do serve many purposes in the world of food, but they have a tendency to become rancid quickly as they interact with oxygen. Unsaturated fats work well as cooking oils, but they do not provide much structure for processed foods.
The ideal oil for many processed foods is only partially hydrogenated. This means the hydrogenation process is stopped at some point, creating a new form of fat which is more solid than unsaturated oils, but not as solid as fully hydrogenated or saturated fats. The most common example of a partially hydrogenated oil would be the butter substitute known as margarine. Margarine is solid enough to use in many processed foods, and also has a longer shelf life than a fully saturated fat.
This stability and extended shelf life at room temperature is why many food manufacturers prefer to use partially hydrogenated oils in products destined for store shelves. The problem with partially hydrogenated fatty acids lies in the hydrogenation process. Because the process was halted before all of the molecular chains became completely saturated with hydrogen atoms, a third form of fat was created.
These fatty acid chains are neither unsaturated or saturated, but rather in an unstable state of transition. Because these fatty acids are caught between two states of being, they are considered trans fats. Trans fats can occur naturally, but the human body is not fully equipped to deal with their effects on a large scale. Trans fat molecules are irregularly shaped, for one thing, and cannot be processed in the same way as unsaturated or saturated fats. Trans fats also have negative effects on the body's healthy HDL cholesterol levels while increasing the level of unhealthy LDL cholesterol.
Hydrogenation itself is not considered to be a particularly dangerous or unhealthy process, but it can be expensive because of the need for reactive precious metals such as platinum. Non-precious reactive metals such as nickel can also be used as the catalyst for hydrogenation, but the results are often variable. Hydrogenation is also used to create chemical compounds such as ammonia, which is the result of hydrogen and nitrogen reacting to a catalyst metal.
The hydrogenation process is also use in the petroleum industry in order to create more stable hydrocarbon fuels. A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ. Please enter the following code:. Login: Forgot password?