Margarines and shortenings have been major contributors to the intake by humans of the probably atherogenic trans FA (TFA). In 1999, all 73 brands of margarines and shortenings on the Danish market were analyzed by GLC on a 50-m highly polar capillary column, and the results were compared with similar investigations in 1992 and 1995. A gradual decline of TFA in Danish margarines was observed. From 1992 to 1995, a reduction of TFA from 10.4 to 3.6% took place in margarines with 20-40% linoleic acid. In 1999, TFA was practically absent in all the margarines, but it remained unchanged in shortenings, averaging about 6-7%. Long-chain TFA from hydrogenated,fish oil, although present in 13 brands in 1995, were not found at all in the 1999 samples. Trans-linoleic acids or CLA were not found. The reduction in TFA content in margarines has not resulted in a systematic change over the years in the content of saturated FA, monounsaturated FA, or PUFA. Calculated from sales figures, the intake of TFA decreased from 2.2 g per capita per year in 1992, to 1.5 g in 1995, and to 0.4 g in, 1999.
Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, 2003, Vol 80, Issue 5, p. 475-478