Future trends

Future developments with respect to the elimination of TFA will depend to a great extent on non-technical issues. The choice of the legal framework can drive the evolution of technology. The Danish legislation practically bans partially hydrogenated fats from food. In contrast to this, the FDA endorsed the limitation of uptake of TFA per serving, which can in some instances be met with lower fat products still based on partially hydro-genated fats. Finally, consumer preference will decide what product technology will prevail, for example whether consumers accept full hydrogenation or not. The power of consumer preference is documented in the fact that canola oil is well appreciated as a very healthy oil in Scandinavia but is practically unsaleable in Spain because of its unhealthy image, due to a malpractice involving canola oil in 1981. Similarly, Europeans use a vast amount of products based on palm oil, which is only sparingly found in US products.

The main future technology developments relevant to TFA elimination, beyond those already mentioned, are the increased use of non-TAG structuring. This is already advocated by ingredient suppliers and is the subject of numerous research projects. However, these mainly emulsifier-based structuring techniques have not yet found widespread application. This is because, among other reasons, the known systems such as those based on monoglycerides or combinations of fatty acids and fatty alcohols are not suited for emulsion systems.

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