What is Hydrogenation? And Why Is It In All Your Food?

Chances are you’ll eat something hydrogenated today. What does that mean? We’ll give you a quick tour of what hydrogenation is, how it’s done, and why many people don’t like it.

Source: What is Hydrogenation? And Why Is It In All Your Food?

Partial hydrogenation does not always result in trans-fats.  Most fats and oils have several of the locations with multiple bonds. Partial hydrogenation eliminates some of these. Total hydrogenation removes all the extra multiple bonds and replaces them with hydrogen. The ‘trans’ fats come about because the reactions are not perfect and every once in a while will remove hydrogen and make a double bound rather than the other way around (think: driving backwards). This in its own right isn’t bad, but the molecules flop around into an easier shape (the ‘trans’ shape) right before they shift into reverse.

Cake Chemists: See the Results When Missing Ingredients

What happens if you miss a vital ingredient out of a cake? Why is the egg so important? What does baking powder actually do? Join Nerys and David of the Live Science Team as they investigate the chemistry of cakes & show you a tasty experiment to try in your own laboratory/kitchen!

See the Youtube video (3:54 minutes).  The recipe they use is in the video details, so you can repeat their experiment.

This for That: Cooking & Baking Substitutes

Direct link to infographic.

Some stuff seems OK – it breaks out the component ingredients for things that are frequently bought as a combination, like poultry seasoning. The rest, though? They are not even close and would produce an entirely different thing in a lot of cases.  But then, that’s typically the challenge when trying to “veganize” and/or make a recipe gluten free for example.

…or you could just buy the actual ingredients 😉

Fats, Cooking Oils vs Warfarin/Coumadin

The amounts listed in these tables [below] are certainly more than would be recommended for a particular meal. For instance, it is unlikely that you would eat 10 rice cakes at a sitting. The amount listed is a guide to an amount that you could eat in a particular day and get a consistent level of vitamin K.

Source: Vitamin K Levels: Fats, Oils & Dressings

Notably, olive oil comes out as “low”.  I haven’t found anything about Extra Virgin, though the designation is questionable these days.

If you are truly concerned about the vitamin K content, PTINR recommends putting the olive oil in light (sun or fluorescent) for 48 hrs.  Most olive oil bottles are dark in colour to protect the olive oil from light exposure, so deal with accordingly.  That said, you’re altering more than just the vitamin K content so you risk getting little to no nutritional benefit when consuming the denatured olive oil (extra virgin or otherwise).  Given that most recipes do not require a lot of olive oil, and that we still need some vitamin K in our diet – it’s something I’d recommend managing with medication.