Trans fatty Acid


Trans-fatty acids (TFAs) are unsaturated fatty acids found naturally in some animal products but are more commonly produced through industrial processes involving the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils. TFAs have been shown to have adverse health effects, particularly on cardiovascular health, and as such, their consumption has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Trans-fatty acids can be measured and analysed through several different methods, including gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. These methods involve extracting and separating TFAs from a sample, followed by identifying and quantifying using specific analytical techniques.

Trans-fatty acid testing and analysis are important for ensuring that foods and products are accurately labelled with their TFA content and monitoring TFA intake in populations. In recent years, there has been a global effort to reduce the consumption of TFAs. Many countries have implemented policies and regulations requiring the labelling and limiting the use of Trans-fatty acids in food products.



There are several benefits of performing trans-fatty acid testing or fat testing in food products. Here are a few:

Health benefits: Trans fats have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, so reducing their consumption can have significant health benefits. Testing for trans fats allows consumers to make informed decisions about their food and can help them avoid products that contain high levels of these harmful fats.

Improved product quality: Knowing the amount of trans fats in a food product can help manufacturers optimise their production process and improve the quality of their products. For example, if a manufacturer finds their product contains high levels of trans fats, they may consider reformulating the recipe to reduce or eliminate them.

Increased consumer confidence: Consumers are becoming increasingly health-conscious and are paying more attention to the ingredients in their food. By testing for fatty acids, including trans fats, and labelling products accordingly, manufacturers can build consumer trust and confidence in their products.

Regulatory compliance: In addition to labelling regulations, some countries have limits on the amount of trans fats that can be present in food products. Testing for trans fats can help manufacturers ensure that their products meet these regulatory requirements.

Compliance with labelling regulations: Many countries have regulations that require food manufacturers to list the amount of trans fats present in their products on the label. Trans-fatty acid testing allows manufacturers to accurately determine the amount of trans fats in their products and comply with these regulations.

  • Nutritional Analysis

    A nutritional analysis ensures your food nutrition label is accurate through a wide range of testing solutions. TÜV SÜD provides analytical competence and support companies in the food and beverage, nutritional supplement, animal feed, biotechnology industries by performing food product analyses and quality control in accordance with local and overseas food labelling regulations.

    In today’s food market, many products are required to undergo nutritional testing due to FDA regulations in the United States. Nutritional testing determines the dietary content of foods and food products. TUV SUD Laboratory services in nutrition testing Nutrition Facts Labels and other analyses in food, pet food, feed, commodities, and dietary supplements.

    Nutritional testing can help manufacturers ensure that their products contain the right amount of amino acids, fatty acids, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, anti-nutrients, enzymes and other critical ingredients.
    laboratory specializes in analyzing feed, commodities, pet food, human food and dietary supplements for nutritional content.


    Areas of nutrition expertise include:

    • Complete proximate testing -Moisture, Fat, Protein, Ash, Carbohydrates,
    • Lipid and fatty acid analyses Fats – Saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, trans, fatty acid profile and Cholesterol.
    • Nutritional Label testing for Saturated Fat, Mono and Polyunsaturated Fats, Trans Fats, and Total Fat for food product labels.
    • Linoleic and Arachidonic Acid (ARA) testing in pet food diets.
    • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) in meat and dairy products.
    • Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acid testing, with an emphasis on Eicosa Pentaenoic Acid (EPA), DocosaHexaenoic Acid (DHA), Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), and Stearidonic Acid (SDA) both in food products and nutraceutical products.
    • Carbohydrate- Sugars and Dietary Fiber
    • Vitamins using LC, LC-MS/MS
    • Mineral and inorganic analyses using state of the art technology
    • Extended support for Amino Acids, Sugar profile for new product development
    • Center of Excellence for enzyme testing for amylase, protease and phytase.
    • Complete nutritional testing for infant formula and baby food.


Our Expertise

Testing fat content in food can be performed through various certified methods depending on the type of nutrient and testing requirements as per major countries, including FSSAI, USFDA, and European countries.

Our ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratories offer a full suite of trans fatty acid analysis for your products. From nutritional labelling to testing fat content in food, we offer a comprehensive nutritional analysis test that can help your business and ensure safe and reliable food products. With our global network of laboratories, we support you in mitigating the risk of non-compliance in your business and ensure that your products meet local and international guidelines.



TÜV SÜD is a leading provider of food testing and certification services and can support you in several ways related to fatty acid analysis and testing for fats in food. Here are a few examples:

Trans-fatty acid analysis: TÜV SÜD offers a range of analytical services for testing for fats in food, including gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. These services can help you accurately determine the amount of trans fats present in your food products and ensure that you comply with labelling and regulatory requirements.

Testing fat content in food: TÜV SÜD also offers testing services for fat content in food products, which can help you optimise your production process and ensure that your products meet quality standards. This can include testing for saturated and unsaturated fats, as well as other fatty acids.

Certification and compliance: TÜV SÜD can provide certification and compliance services related to trans fatty acid analysis and testing fat content in food. This can include verifying that your products meet labelling and regulatory requirements, as well as providing certifications such as ISO 9001 or HACCP.

Consultancy and training: TÜV SÜD offer consultancy and training services to help you develop and implement best practices for trans fatty acid analysis and testing fat content in food. This can include guidance on sample preparation, analytical techniques, and interpretation of results.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What ingredients indicate a presence of trans fat?

    Trans fats can be found in various food products and are often created during the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils. Here are a few ingredients that may indicate the presence of trans fats:

    • Partially hydrogenated oils: This ingredient is commonly used in processed foods, such as baked goods, fried foods, and snack foods, and is a major source of trans fats. If a product contains partially hydrogenated oils, it likely contains trans fats.
    • Margarine: Margarine is a popular butter substitute that is often made from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. While some margarine products are now made without trans fats, it's important to check the label and look for partially hydrogenated oils.
    • Shortening: Like margarine, shortening is often made from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and can be a significant source of trans fats.
    • Fried foods: Foods that are fried in oil, such as French fries or fried chicken, can contain trans fats if the oil used for frying contains partially hydrogenated oils.
  • How do you test for trans fatty acids?

    Testing for trans fatty acids, be it essential fatty acids tests or fatty acid tests in food products, typically involves a combination of analytical techniques. Here are the basic steps involved in testing for trans fatty acids:

    • Sample preparation: The food sample is first prepared by extracting the lipids from the sample using a solvent such as hexane or chloroform. The resulting lipid extract is then purified to remove any impurities or unwanted components.

    • Derivatisation: The extracted lipids are then converted to fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) using a chemical reaction, such as transesterification or methylation. This step is necessary because fatty acids cannot be easily analysed in their native form.

    • Analysis: The FAMEs are then analysed using gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS) to identify the different fatty acids present in the sample, including trans fatty acids. GC is used to separate the individual fatty acids, while MS is used to detect and quantify them.

    • Quantification: The amount of trans fatty acids in the sample can be quantified by comparing the peak area or height of the trans fatty acid to that of a known standard. This allows for accurate measurement of the trans fatty acid content in the sample.

    Overall, testing for fatty acids requires specialised equipment and expertise and is typically performed by food testing laboratories. The results of these tests are important for complying with labelling and regulatory requirements and ensuring the safety and quality of food products.


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