What is Hydrogenation? How Does It Affect Vegetable Oils?

Food, Health
Hydrogenation is simply the addition of one or more molecules of hydrogen to a compound. When we speak of hydrogenation, we usually refer to the saturation (adding of hydrogen) of carbon-carbon double bonds to produce single bonds. Saturation / Unsaturation Organic compounds, most of the compounds containing carbon and hydrogen, can be saturated or unsaturated. In saturated compounds, all carbon atoms that are bonded to other carbon atoms are singly bonded, whereas in unsaturated compounds, some of these are double or even triple bonds. See the illustration for examples. But Why Hydrogenation? Whatever the actual motive(s) involved, the medical and commercial worlds decided butter should be replaced by a manmade product, initially called oleomargarine, and later margarine. In order to be "healthy" we are told it should be prepared from…
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Fat, Fatty Acids, and Omega Fatty Acids

[caption id="attachment_7752" align="alignright" width="440"] Fish are rich in 3-omega fatty acids.[/caption] "Pretty young things” run around uttering words the media have injected into their vocabulary, including among them the expression omega fatty acids. But, in fact, most of them have no idea what an omega fatty acid is. Let’s go a step further on that. They don’t know what any kind of fatty acid is. In fact, ask them to define what fat is, and they will only be able to describe it and tell you where you can obtain some, not they haven’t a clue as to what it actually is. But that is OK. One doesn’t need to know every aspect of a subject to be able to function. You needn't know the workings of a computer to…
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Straight Chain Alkanes: Predicting Properties

Straight chain alkanes are compounds with a non-branched backbone of carbon atoms. In addition, as many hydrogen atoms as possible are attached to each carbon atom. Straight chain alkanes are “saturated” hydrocarbons, which means they are completely filled up with hydrogen. See Figure 1 for examples of straight chain, branched chain, saturated, and unsaturated hydrocarbons. Methylene With the exceptions of methane and ethane, straight chain alkanes differ in the number of methylene groups (CH₂) each contains.  Thus the first five hydrocarbons, methane, ethane, propane, butane, and pentane are written, CH₄ CH₃CH₃ CH₃CH₂CH₃ CH₃CH₂CH₂CH₃ CH₃CH₂CH₂CH₂CH₃ Another method of writing straight chain alkane chemical formulas for the butane and pentane structures above is, CH₃(CH₂)₂CH₃ CH₃(CH₂)₃CH₃ General Formula From this, we can formulate the rule for the formula of a straight chain alkane…
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