Effects of hydrogenation parameters on trans isomer formation, selectivity and melting properties of fat



Effects of hydrogenation conditions (temperature, hydrogen pressure, stirring rate) on trans fatty acid formation, selectivity and melting behavior of fat were investigated. To this aim, soybean oil was hydrogenated under various conditions and fatty acid composition, trans isomer formation, slip melting point (SMP), solid fat content (SFC) and iodine number (IV) of the samples withdrawn at certain intervals of the reactions were monitored. A constant ratio (0.03%) of Nysosel 222 was used in the various combinations of temperature (150, 165 and 180 °C), stirring speed (500, 750 and 1000 rpm) and hydrogen pressure (1, 2 and 3 bar). Raising the temperature increased the formation of fatty acid isomers, whereas higher stirring rates decreased this formation, while changes in hydrogen pressure had no effect or slightly reduced it, depending on other parameters. Results also indicated that the trans fatty acid ratio increased with IV reduction, reached the highest value when the IV was about 70 and decreased at IV < 70 due to saturation. Selectivity values (S21) at that point ranged between 5.78 and 11.59. Lower temperatures and higher stirring rates decreased not only the trans isomer content but also the S21 values at significant levels. However, same effects were not observed with the changes in hydrogen pressure. It was determined that a high SMP does not necessarily mean a high SFC. Selective conditions produced samples with higher SFC but lower SMP, which is possibly because of higher trans isomer formation as well as lower saturation.