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Catalytic Hydrogenation of Vegetable Oils

Partial and full hydrogenation of vegetable oils are extremely important for the food and chemical industries. The selectivity of the catalytic process determines the chemical and physical properties of the hydrogenated products, defining the application potential, and therefore the product value. In the partial hydrogenation, the conversion of unstable polyunsaturated fatty acids into more stable monounsaturated fatty acids is highly desired, without a significant increase in the content of saturated fatty acids. Nowadays, the challenge is the control of the cis/trans isomerization, occurring as a side reaction of the hydrogenation process, since trans fatty acids are suspected of increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Accordingly, in many countries, there are specific regulations banning the use of trans fats in food products. Since catalyst properties largely influence hydrogenation selectivity and formation of trans isomers, catalyst development is crucial in providing products showing superior functionality, i.e. good stability, suitable physical properties, and low levels of trans isomers.

Publication details

Print publication date
21 Nov 2014
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN
From the book series:
Energy and Environment Series