Most packaged food products must contain trans-fat labelling; however unpackaged snacks such as cookies, donuts, and muffins at supermarkets, gas station convenience stores, and bakeries often do not have or require nutrition fact labels. Hence, consumers are not aware of the trans-fat content in unpackaged food products. It is well-known within the health and scientific community that diets high in trans-fat can lead to a host of health problems, namely coronary heart disease (CHD). The purpose of this study is to conduct a preliminary study of the trans-fat content in unpackaged baked goods, particularly unpackaged glazed donuts. To accomplish our objective, we determined the % trans-fat in oil extracted from glazed donuts obtained from several supermarkets, gas stations and bakeries across Northwest, Indiana. Variable Filter Array (VFA) IR spectroscopy was used to assess the trans-fat content of oil extracted from food samples. In this paper, we present our preliminary findings.
Studies linking high trans-fat diets to coronary heart disease (CHD) have prompted the need to regulate, limit, or completely ban trans-fat from all commercial food products, including fast foods. Many U.S. fast food chains now claim that their food items, particularly French fries, have "no trans-fat". In a previous study, our lab tested the validity of trans-fat claims made by several popular fast food restaurants by experimentally determining the %trans-fat in oil extracted from fast food French fries. In some cases, the trans-fat content was nearly twice as high as the amount reported by the restaurant in their literature. Long John Silver & apos; s, for example, reported a trans-fat content of 25% for their French fries, while our lab actually found over 40% trans-fat. The purpose of this study is to broaden our study of Long John Silver & apos; s trans-fat claims by analyzing a variety of their food items and comparing our findings with the %trans-fat reported by the restaurant literature (nutrition fact tables). Variable Filter Array (VFA) IR spectroscopy was used to assess the trans-fat content of oil extracted from food samples. Our preliminary findings suggest that nearly every food item under study contained considerably more trans-fat than the amount reported in the restaurant’s literature.