The harmful health effects related to TFA intake are specifically those associated with coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiovascular disease (CVD) and related diseases (EFSA, 2010; Judd et al., 1994; Mensink & Katan, 1990). Intake of TFA that exceeds 5 grams per portion is associated with increased risk of CHD (Wagner et al., 2008). TFA originates from three different sources, the first being the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils, and to a lesser extent fish oils, heat treatments such as deep-fat frying cooking techniques used in the fast food industry, and lastly there are the natural forms of TFA that originates as by-products from the metabolism of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) by anaerobic bacteria in the rumen (Ratnayake & Zehaluk, 2005; Richter et al., 2009; Stender et al., 2008).
Industrial TFA content within products has been found to be as high as 60% of total fatty acid content and sometimes even higher (Stender et al., 2008). In comparison the ruminant derived TFA found in ruminant fat has been reported to be as high as 6% with TFA in milk fat ranging from 4% to 6% of the total fatty acid profile (Stender et al., 2008). Ruminant fat may contain up to 20% of the TFA content as the C16:1 trans isomer range, which is not found in industrial TFA profile (Fritsche & Steinhart, 1997). The most common TFA isomer from industrial origin is elaidic acid (Stender et al., 2008; Weggemans et al., 2004).
Analysis of trans fatty acid composition would benefit the South African red meat industry, especially at the hand of the proposed Regulations Relating to Trans fat in the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, Act 54 Of 1972 (Government Gazette, 2011), and the absence of these values for South African red meat. The aim of this study was to quantitatively determine the TFA content of South African beef at a regional level. The data obtained shows that the trans fatty acid content of South African beef varies between 0.2 milligram fatty acid per gram beef for C18:3t-9,t-12,t-15 and 0.17 milligram fatty acid per gram beef for C18:3c-9,t-12,c-15. Although the statistical significance was proven (P < 0.05), on a practical level these concentrations are with reasonable certainty practically negligible. The trans fatty acids that showed statistical significance have concentration values lower than the recommended benchmark values for human consumption and health. It was estimated that CVD is the number one cause of death globally and consumption of TFA that exceeds five grams per portion is associated with increased risk of CHD (Wagner et al., 2008; WHO, 2008).
Dissertation (MSc (Agric))--University of Pretoria, 2017.