Trans fats headed for the exits

Comments (9)
By Peter Hadzipetros

There's more progress on the road to dumping trans fats from our diets. Well, most of our diets, anyway.

Crisco — the shortening that millions of us have been baking with for nearly 100 years — has gone trans-fat free. Crisco was the first solidified shortening product made entirely from vegetable oil using the hydrogenation process — the same process that results in trans fatty acids. The goal was to come up with a product that could be stored at room temperature for a long time.

"The reformulation of Crisco shortening reflects years of research to develop a zero grams trans fat per serving product that does not increase the level of saturated fats, while also ensuring it continues to deliver the performance excellence our consumers expect," company spokesperson Maribeth Badertscher says in a news release.

Meanwhile, on this side of the border, a research team headed by a University of Guelph professor has come up with a new way to process oils into trans-fat free solids. It was first published in the journal Chemical Science earlier this month. You can read all the scientific details here.

Alejandro Marangoni's research group found a way to mix oil, water, monoglycerides and fatty acids to form a "cooking fat" that acts the same way as trans and saturated fats — the stuff that makes baked goods taste so good. The big difference here is Marangoni's process works with "healthier" oils like olive, soybean and canola. He's hoping to get food manufacturers interested in the process this year, as the pressure mounts on the makers of commercial foods to dump trans fats.

"It is as good as the oil you put into it," Marangoni told CBC News. "We hope this will provide part of the answer to the problem."

You can watch an interview with the professor here.

You never know. Watching might help guide you to better cookie recipes.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments (9)

Michael Bean


Congratulations to Fractec for paving the way to a better future.

Posted January 29, 2007 09:15 AM

Marni Baram


I think that a replacement oil for the dangerous trans fats is a great idea and a step in the right direction. I do however believe that people need to shift their entire ideas about eating. We need to focus on feeding our bodies whole foods that do not come in packages, tins or styrofoam containers. I'll be the first to admit that the treats at Starbucks are delicious, but it's eating food like that on a regular basis that is getting people into trouble with their health.

Posted January 27, 2007 12:13 PM

Chris Wright

"The reformulation of Crisco shortening reflects years of research to develop a zero grams trans fat per serving"

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Crisco will still contain trans fats -- just at a level that can be rounded down to 'zero grams per serving'. Wow. I'll still judiciously avoid anything that might be made with Crisco, or any other shortening.

Posted January 26, 2007 06:24 PM


... and here goes some scientific data confirming Steve's statement about the neutral effect of stearic fatty acids on blood cholesterol levels. It is important here to differentiate the effect on the "good" cholesterol (HDL) and the "bad" cholesterol (LDL).
Have fun!

Citation: Mensink, R.P. Zock, P.L. Kester, A.D.M. and Katan, M.B. “Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials” Am J Clin Nutr 2003;77:1146–55.

Posted January 26, 2007 03:06 PM

Silvana Martini


I really enjoyed the CBC interview to Alex Marangoni. I always enjoy Dr. Marangoni's (FRACTEC) product and processing innovations since they are always based on scientific data (see the paper published in Soft Matter journal in the link above, excellent stuff!).
In the same context, I will really enjoy reading about the technology that CRISCO is using to formulate their shortenings. Is there anything available out there?

Posted January 26, 2007 02:24 PM

Steve Bernet

Follow up to Anita's Comment re. Butter and Natural Foods

Anita, I think you're spot-on and I think the research will confirm your thoughts.
Natural products including butter and lard have taken a hit due to their saturated fat content. We are told not to consume saturated fats ... but this is misleading. It true that some saturated fats, palmitic acid for example, are almost as problematic as trans, but some such as stearic acid have a neutral effect on cardiovascular health.
Guess where you find stearic acid ... you got butter and animals fats.
So, I agree with you butter and other animal fats have had a bad wrap.
The Canadian food industry seems to be well on its way to solving the trans issue ... but I'm concerned for those companies that have choosen to substitute with palm fat. Palm fat imports are increasing exponentially in the US, and as happened 25 years ago I anticipate a palm fat backlash from the soy and corn lobby. When that happens we'll be looking at changes once again ... and it's not that far off in my opinion.
So, don't be afraind to butter your toast!

Posted January 26, 2007 01:52 PM

John Leveris

The bakery and foodservice industry in Canada should take the example set by New York City to effectively remove all industrial trans-fats from foodservice food offerings.

Inventions such as this makes it much easier for the entire food industry to make available and sell us healthier baked goods and foods... NO NEED FOR MORE DELAYS AND EXCUSES!

Indutrial trans-fats are known killers, why do we tolerate these being in any of our foods? The food industry has had much too long to get them out.

Posted January 26, 2007 09:32 AM

Anita Hellquist

While fat and cholesterol need to be consumed in moderation, I believe it won't be long until we "discover" that butter is actually a very healthy choice. Just as we were taught for a time that eggs were unhealthy, butter has been given a similar bad rap. When will we finally concede that a balanced diet consisting of foods which have been minimally processed, together with exercise, is the best choice for a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately there's not a lot of money to be made selling food products which are close to their natural state! Imagine! Our grandmothers who baked with lard were creating a healthier product with animal fat...

Posted January 26, 2007 12:31 AM

Steve Bernet

Great coverage of this story by the CBC!
The new heart-friendly structured oil described by Alex Marangoni represents a Canadian breakthrough that promises to help solve the global epidemic of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Thw successful commercialization of this technology is supported by several important organizations in Guelph, Ontario. These organizations have been vital in Fractec's ability to turn great science into commercial reality. These organization include:

1.Advanced Food and Material Network (AFMNet)
2.Soy 20/20
3.MaRS Landing
4.University of Guelph
5.Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs
6.Ontario Soybean Growers
7.Guelph Parntership for Innovation
9.City of Guelph Economic Development Office
10.University of Waterloo

This technology provides a new strategy for eliminating trans fats and reducing consumption of calories from fat. The technology also provides a strategy for using locally produced heart-friendly soybean and canola oils instead of imported tropical fats. So, this is not only good news for consumers, it's also great news for our farmers, agrifood processors, rural communities, and food industries.

Yes ... trans fats are about to make an exit.

Posted January 25, 2007 09:50 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment


Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Back of the Pack »

About the Author

Peter HadzipetrosPeter Hadzipetros is a producer for the Consumer and Health sites of CBC News Online. Until he got off the couch and got into long distance running a few years ago, he was a net importer of calories.

More from Peter Hadzipetros »

Recent Posts

On leading horses to water
Peter Hadzipetros
Monday, July 16, 2007
Another day, another toenail
Peter Hadzipetros
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Cooling off before heating up
Peter Hadzipetros
Friday, June 29, 2007
Growing up cheating
Peter Hadzipetros
Friday, June 22, 2007
Don't you get bored?
Peter Hadzipetros
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Subscribe to this blog

Recent Comments

Congratulations to Fractec for paving the way to a better...
Trans fats headed for the exits
I think that a replacement oil for the dangerous trans fa...
Trans fats headed for the exits
"The reformulation of Crisco shortening reflects years of...
Trans fats headed for the exits
... and here goes some scientific data confirming Steve's...
Trans fats headed for the exits
I really enjoyed the CBC interview to Alex Marangoni. I a...
Trans fats headed for the exits


July 2007 (2)
June 2007 (5)
May 2007 (3)
April 2007 (6)
March 2007 (3)
February 2007 (6)
January 2007 (7)
December 2006 (2)
November 2006 (3)
October 2006 (3)
September 2006 (4)
August 2006 (5)
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

World »

Sean Spicer quits after Trump taps financier to head White House communications video
Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci was introduced as White House communications director on Friday, with the announcement also coming that Sean Spicer will be stepping down from his role as press secretary.
Minneapolis police chief resigns after officer's shooting of Australian woman
Minneapolis police Chief Janee Harteau said on Friday she was "willing to step aside" following the fatal police shooting of an unarmed Australian woman.
Updated 3 Palestinians, 3 Israelis killed in violence over holy site video
Escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions over Jerusalem's most contested shrine boiled over into violence on Friday leaving six people dead — three Palestinians in street clashes and three Israelis in a stabbing attack at a West Bank settlement.
more »

Canada »

Calgary man who claims neck was sliced by barbed wire on mountain bike trail charged with fraud
A Calgary man who claimed his neck was sliced by barbed wire on a popular mountain biking trail west of the city and then asked for financial donations online has turned himself in to RCMP.
Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs, wife and 1 other charged with extortion
Ontario Provincial Police have charged Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs, his wife and another woman with extortion.
2 Canadian Cavalia employees jailed in China for smoking pot
Two Quebec employees with the Montreal-based equestrian multimedia show Cavalia have been imprisoned in China for allegedly smoking marijuana and are facing deportation, Radio-Canada has learned.
more »

Politics »

Illegal border crossings by asylum seekers decline in Manitoba but spike in Quebec
The total number of illegal border crossings made by asylum seekers increased slightly in June compared with the previous month but has stayed relatively consistent since March according to newly released government figures.
In historic 1st, transgender inmate wins transfer to women's prison video
Transgender inmate Fallon Aubee is making history as Canada's first federal inmate to be placed in a prison based on gender identity rather than physical anatomy.
Many Indigenous families not applying for Canada child benefit: documents
Many Indigenous families on reserves and in the North have not been applying for the Canada child benefit because they are either unaware of the program or they are not filing their income taxes — a requirement for eligibility.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

FILM REVIEW A different sort of war film: Christopher Nolan's triumphant Dunkirk
It was one of the pivotal turning points of the Second World War. Now, director Christopher Nolan sets his sights on Dunkirk.
'Look man, I don't want no orcs in my car:' Will Smith teases fantasy thriller Bright at Comic-Con
Imagine End of Watch but with orcs and fairies and magic. That's the vibe of Will Smith's big budget Netflix film Bright, which unveiled its first full trailer Thursday in a presentation at Comic-Con.
Game of Thrones creators respond to backlash over Confederate announcement
Game of Thrones' showrunnners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss knew they were in for a rough ride following the initial announcement of their next HBO project.
more »

Technology & Science »

As It Happens Science reporter David Perlman, 98, retires after nearly 8 decades at the San Francisco Chronicle
Science reporter David Perlman — who covered AIDS before anyone even knew what it was — is retiring from the San Francisco Chronicle after almost eight decades.
Elephant seals have rhythm and they know how to use it
New research published in the journal Current Biology finds that elephant seals identify breeding rivals by the rhythm of their vocal calls, much the way humans can discern accents and vocal tone.
Police ran 2nd dark web marketplace as sting to spot drug deals
In an innovative blow against illicit internet commerce, cyberpolice shut down the world's leading "dark net" marketplace, AlphaBay — then quietly seized a second bazaar, the Hansa Market, to amass intelligence on illicit drug merchants and buyers.
more »

Money »

Auto sector propels retail sales higher in May
Strong auto sector activity helped Canadian retail sales activity rise for a third straight month in May, climbing by 0.6 per cent to $48.9 billion, Statistics Canada said Friday.
Sports streaming app DAZN launches in Canada with all NFL games for $20 a month video
Streaming video service DAZN is set to launch in Canada and will offer subscribers the ability to watch every NFL game this coming season without the need of a television subscription.
FedEx closing all retail office stores in Canada
Shipping giant FedEx is set to close office retail stores in Canada putting 214 employees in three provinces out of work
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Bolt wins 100m at Diamond League Monaco; De Grasse, relay team DQ'd video
Olympic star Usain Bolt held off the field to win the 100 metres Friday at the IAAF Diamond League Monaco event, while Canada's 4x100-metre men's relay team of Andre De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney, and Gavin Smellie was disqualified after a bad exchange.
Video ​A botched exchange in the 4x100 relay leads to a disqualification for Canada at Monaco Diamond League video
DQ just the latest in a long history of relay heartache for Canada.
Melissa Bishop sets Canadian record in women's 800m video
Canadian Melissa Bishop set a national record in the women's 800 metres with a time of one minute 57.01 seconds, but it was only good enough for fifth place as South Africa's Caster Semenya set the pace with a world-leading and meet record time of 1:55.27.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »