H I

trans configuration

Figure 1 The trans and cis configurations of unsaturated bonds. Reproduced with kind permission of the British Nutrition Foundation.

fatty acids are 69.6 °C for stearic acid (18:0), 44.8 °C for elaidic acid (trans-18:1), and 13.2 °C for oleic acid (czs-18:1). The relative proportion of these different types of fatty acids influences the physical properties of cooking fats and their suitability for different uses in the food processing industry.

In addition to geometrical isomerism (cis and trans), unsaturated fatty acids also exhibit positional isomerism, where the double bonds can occur in different positions along the chain in fatty acids which have identical chemical formulae. As with cis fatty acids, trans fatty acids also occur as mixtures of positional isomers.

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