Chemistry

The trans fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids that contain one or more ethylenic double bonds in the trans geometrical configuration, i.e., on opposite sides of the carbon chain (Figure 1). The trans bond is more thermodynamically stable than the cis bond and is therefore less chemically reactive.

Trans bonds have minimal effect on the conformation of the carbon chain such that their physical properties more closely resemble those of saturated fatty acids than of cis unsaturated fatty acids. The conformation remains linear, compared with cis fatty acids, which are kinked (Figure 2). Hence, trans isomers can pack together more closely than their cis counterparts.

Trans fatty acids have higher melting points than their cis counterparts, while saturated fatty acids have higher melting points than both trans and cis fatty acids. For example, the melting points of C18

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