TFAs and SFAs

Liquid to solid

Hydrogenation is a process that transforms liquid oils into solid oils. This process is used when a food product requires a solid structure and consistency. There are two types of hydrogenation: full hydrogenation and partial hydrogenation. Full hydrogenation creates saturated fatty acids or SFAs. Partial hydrogenation creates trans-fatty acids or TFAs.

SFAs or TFAs? 

Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) are naturally present in all food products of animal origin, but also in vegetable oils and fats. The highest levels of saturated fatty acids can be found in fats that are solid at room temperature, like butter or lard. There are two sources of Trans-fatty acids (TFAs). Some are naturally found in dairy products, butter and meat from ruminant animals. Some come from refining and partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils and are called industrial TFAs.

TFAs & cholesterol

TFAs are proven to have a bad effect on cholesterol levels and can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, over the past 25 years, partial hydrogenation has been voluntarily replaced by the food industry bringing the level of industrial TFAs down considerably. From 2019 products with more than 2g of industrial TFAs per 100g of fat have been prohibited in Europe.  

Towards more Healthy fats

It’s scientifically accepted that our health can be improved by replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in our diets. Unsaturated fatty acids or UFAs are often called “healthy fats” and the highest levels can generally be found in oils from vegetal origin (among other sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, soybean oil, etc. ) as well as in fish oils. The oils that are rich in UFAs can also be a source of essential omega -3 fatty acids.

At Vandemoortele, we try to replace SFAs by UFAs as much as possible in all our products. Learn more in our position paper.


Fats in our Vandemoortele Clean Label

Our Clean label products do not contain any hydrogenated fats or oils. To make our clean label products solid enough we use other processes and we are always innovating to find new solutions!