Declarations of the total content of trans fatty acids (FA) and saturated FA (SFA) are mandatory on food labels in the US and Canada. Gas chromatography (GC) has been the method of choice for the determination of FA composition. However, GC is time consuming and requires conversion of fats and oils to their FA methyl esters. In the present study, a recently published Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopic procedure was applied to the rapid (<5 min) determination of total SFA, monounsaturated FA (MUFA), polyunsaturated FA (PUFA), and trans FA contents of 30 commercially available edible fats and oils. Good agreement was obtained between the GC and FT-NIR methods for the determination of total SFA, MUFA, and PUFA contents. Differences between the two methods were apparent for the determination of trans fat at trans fat levels <2 % of total fat. The analytical determinations of total SFA, MUFA, and PUFA contents for many of the oils examined differed from the respective values declared on the product labels. Our findings demonstrate that the FT-NIR procedure serves as a suitable alternative method for the rapid determination of total SFA, MUFA, PUFA and trans FA contents of neat vegetable oils.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.