Author(s): Mossoba MM, Moss J, Kramer JK
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Abstract Trans fatty acids are found in a variety of foods like dairy and meat products, but the major dietary sources are products that contain commercially hydrogenated fats. There has been a renewed need for accurate analytical methods for the quantitation of total trans fat since mandatory requirements to declare the amount of trans fat present in food products and dietary supplements were issued in many countries. Official capillary GC and IR methodologies are the two most common validated methods used to identify and quantify trans fatty acids for regulatory compliance. The present article provides a comprehensive discussion of the GC and IR techniques, including the latest attenuated total reflection (ATR)-FTIR methodology called the negative second derivative ATR-FTIR procedure, which is currently being validated in an international collaborative study. The identification and quantitation of trans fatty acid isomers by GC is reviewed and an alternative GC method is proposed using two temperature programs and combining their results; this proposed method deals more effectively with the resolution of large numbers of geometric and positional monoene, diene, and triene fatty acid isomers present in ruminant fats. In addition, the different methylation procedures that affect quantitative conversion to fatty acid methyl esters are reviewed. There is also a lack of commercial chromatographic standards for many trans fatty acid isomers. This review points to potential sources of interferences in the FTIR determination that may lead to inaccurate results, particularly at low trans levels. The presence of high levels of saturated fats may lead to interferences in the FTIR spectra observed for trans triacylglycerols (TAGs). TAGs require no derivatization, but have to be melted prior to IR measurement. While GC is currently the method of choice, ATR-FTIR spectroscopy is a viable, rapid alternative, and a complementary method to GC for a more rapid determination of total trans fats for food labeling purposes.
This article was published in J AOAC Int
and referenced in Journal of Food & Industrial Microbiology