Date of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Type

Honors Paper



First Advisor

Sarah E. G. Porter, Ph.D.


With the FDA mandating that all foodstuff labels list the amount of trans fates within their product, it becomes necessary to have a rapid and reproducible method for quantifying trans content within foods. Research has led to the advent of an analytical method that utilizes attenuated total reflectance with a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer to quantitatively measure trans fat in foodstuffs. The method is possible because of an infrared absorbance band at 966 cm that is unique to nutritional trans fats. This research used the aforementioned method to quantify trans fat content in common cooking vegetable oils. Before analysis , the oil samples were heated to different temperatures that were less than or equal their respective smoke point. Results from all heated oil samples provided data that was below the calibration range (0.5 - 40% trans fat.



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