Torben Leth

Technical University of Denmark, København, Capital Region, Denmark

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Publications (28)53.04 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Intake of trans-fatty acids (TFA), especially industrially produced TFA (I-TFA), has been associated with the risk of CHD through influence on serum lipid levels. Other causal pathways remain less investigated. In the present cross-sectional study of middle-aged men representing a broad range of BMI, the association between intake of TFA, I-TFA and ruminant TFA (R-TFA) and obesity-associated risk markers of CHD was assessed. The study comprised 393 Danish men (median age 49 years) with a median BMI of 28·4 kg/m(2). Intake of TFA was estimated based on 7 d dietary records, whereas outcomes of interest (waist circumference, sagittal abdominal diameter, percentage of truncal fat, C-reactive protein, IL-6, blood lipids, blood pressure, HbA1c and insulin sensitivity index) were obtained through clinical examination. The associations were assessed by linear regression analysis. The median intake of total TFA among the 393 men was 1·3 g/d, covering a daily I-TFA intake of 0·4 g (10-90th percentile 0·0-1·0) and R-TFA intake of 0·9 g (10-90th percentile 0·4-1·8). Intake of these amounts of TFA showed no significant associations with abdominal fatness, inflammatory markers, blood lipids, blood pressure and insulin homeostasis. Among middle-aged men with a generally low intake of TFA, neither I-TFA nor R-TFA was significantly related to obesity-associated risk markers of CHD. The decreased average intake of I-TFA in Denmark since 1995 is suggested to effectively prevent occurrence of the adverse metabolic changes and health consequences, which have formerly been observed in relation to, especially, I-TFA intake.
    The British journal of nutrition 05/2011; 106(8):1245-52. · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An association between biomarkers of trans fat intake and greater risk of preeclampsia has been reported, but research in this area is scant. Thus, we examined the association of second trimester intake of trans fats with risk of preeclampsia and severe preeclampsia. We followed 67,186 pregnancies of women participating in the Danish National Birth Cohort between 1998 and 2003. Diet was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire at gestation week 25, and preeclampsia diagnosis was obtained by linkage with the Danish National Patient Registry. There were 1804 cases of preeclampsia and 402 cases of severe preeclampsia identified in the cohort. Intake of trans fats decreased during the study period as a consequence of a reduction in industrial trans fat intake. Second trimester intake of trans fats was unrelated to risk of preeclampsia or severe preeclampsia. The relative risk (95% confidence interval; P, trend) of preeclampsia and severe preeclampsia comparing top to bottom quintiles of trans fat intake were 0.95(0.81; 1.11, 0.33) and 1.07 (0.78; 1.48, 0.92), respectively. Second trimester intake of trans fats is unrelated to risk of preeclampsia within the intake range observed in a period of gradual reduction of industrial trans fats from the Danish food supply.
    European journal of clinical nutrition 05/2011; 65(8):944-51. · 3.07 Impact Factor
  • Hongyuan Cheng, Alan Friis, Torben Leth
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    ABSTRACT: The partition coefficients (Kow) of benzoic acid and sorbic acid in systems of fish oil (sand eel)–water, fish oil–buffer solution, rape oil–water and olive oil–water were experimentally determined in a temperature range from 5 to 43°C and pH from 4.5 to 6.5°C. The dimerization of benzoic acid in fish oil–water system was observed at 25°C. Two modifications have been made to the Nordic Food Analysis Standard for the determination of sorbic acid by HPLC. The experimental results show that the Kow of benzoic acid and sorbic acid in fish oil–buffer system is ca. 100 times lower than that in fish oil–water system. The Kow values of benzoic acid and sorbic acid in fish oil and water system decrease with increasing system pH values. The partition coefficients of plant origin and fish origin oils are in the same order of magnitude even though their molecular structures are very different.
    Food Chemistry - FOOD CHEM. 01/2010; 122(1):60-64.
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    ABSTRACT: Three surveys of the content of trans fatty acids (TFA) in foods on the Danish market were carried out before and after the Danish regulation was introduced in January 2004 restricting the use of industrially produced (IP)-TFA to a maximum of 2 g per 100 g fat in any food product. For this purpose, food samples were collected in 2002–3, 2004–5, and 2006–7. Of these, 60 paired samples (defined as samples included in two of the three investigations and with higher levels of IP-TFA in the first determination than in the second) were identified. Comparisons of the fatty acid profiles showed that, in 68% of the products (e.g. sweets, cakes and cookies as well as fast food such as pie and tortilla), IP-TFA were mainly substituted with saturated fatty acids (SFA). In some cases, the SFA source was coconut fat, whereas in other products, palm oil was added instead of partially hydrogenated oils. However, in important cases like frying fats, healthier fat substitutes with monounsaturated fatty acids were used. The surveys showed that the IP-TFA content has been reduced or removed from most products with originally high IP-TFA content, like French fries, microwave oven popcorn and various bakery products, so that IP-TFA are now insignificant for the intake of TFA in Denmark.
    European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 05/2009; 111(6):574 - 583. · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies have shown a strong direct (positive) association between the intake of trans fatty acids (TFA) and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), primarily accounted for by industrially produced TFA (IP-TFA). However, comparisons between ruminant TFA (R-TFA) and IP-TFA and risk of CHD have been based on quintiles of intake, which implies that the associations between the two sources of TFA and the risk of CHD were described across different ranges of intake. Controlled metabolic studies of the effect of intake of total and specific R-TFA on CHD risk factors are warranted. Moreover, further epidemiological studies of intake of R-TFA and risk of CHD in populations with a high intake of R-TFA are warranted.
    Atherosclerosis Supplements 06/2006; 7(2):9-11. · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The content of trans fatty acids (TFA) in Danish food has been monitored for the last 30 years. In margarines and shortenings the content of TFA has steadily declined from about 10 g/100 g margarine in the seventies to practically no TFA in margarines in 1999. In order to efficiently reduce the health risk related to TFA, Denmark decided to impose a maximum level of 2 g/100 g fat on industrially produced TFA (IP-TFA) with the Danish Order no. 160 of March 2003, as labelling was deemed insufficient to protect the consumers, especially risk groups like children or people with high intake of fast foods. A broader range of food was monitored with 253 samples in 2003 and 148 samples in 2005 after the Danish regulation was in effect. The investigations show that the TFA content has been reduced or removed from the products with high TFA content originally, like French fries, microwave oven popcorn and various bakery products, so IP-TFA are now without any significance for the intake of TFA in Denmark.
    Atherosclerosis Supplements 06/2006; 7(2):53-6. · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A high intake of industrially produced trans fatty acids (IP-TFA) is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), and a daily intake as low as possible is required to minimize health risks. To achieve this at the individual level in Denmark, legislation limited IP-TFA in foods to a maximum of 2% of fat content from 2004. We assessed the potential exposure of consumers to IP-TFA by analysing popular foods in Denmark, and in 25 other countries. Fifty-five servings of French fries and chicken nuggets, 87 packages of microwave popcorn, and 393 samples of biscuits/cakes/wafers with "partially hydrogenated vegetable fat" listed high on the food label were bought between November 2004 and February 2006. The content of IP-TFA was analysed by standardized methodology. We defined a "high trans menu" as a large size serving of French fries and nuggets, 100 g of microwave popcorn, and 100 g of biscuits/wafers/cakes. The amounts of IP-TFA in a "high trans menu" was 30 g in 2001 in Denmark, but was reduced to less than 1g in 2005. By contrast, a "high trans menu" provided more than 20 g in 17 out of 18 countries, with Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, and USA, ranking highest with 42, 40, 38, 37, and 36 g, respectively. The legislation in Denmark has reduced the exposure of IP-TFA at the individual level without noticeable effect on availability, price, and quality of foods previously containing high amounts of IP-TFA. The findings of high concentrations of IP-TFA in popular foods outside Denmark suggest that millions of people inside and outside EU have intakes of IP-TFA that may increase their risk of CHD. The Danish experience demonstrates that this risk can be eliminated.
    Atherosclerosis Supplements 06/2006; 7(2):47-52. · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A survey for irradiation of 106 herbal food supplements was carried out in Denmark in 2003. The results from three methods, two screening methods and a specific method, were compared: Direct epifluorescent filter technique/aerobic plate count (DEFT/APC), photostimulated luminescence (PSL) and thermoluminescence (TL) standardised by Comit Europen de Normalisation (CEN). Forty samples screened positive with the DEFT/APC method. However, the TL method could only confirm irradiation of 15 samples, 11 samples wholly irradiated and 4 samples with a minor irradiated ingredient. Thus, the DEFT/APC method gave a large number of false positive results, although the number of false negative results probably was very low. Only 7 of the 15 confirmed irradiated samples screened positive with the PSL screening method, the samples with low photon counts escaping detection. For 10% of the samples also the TL method was lacking in sensitivity, as not enough minerals could be isolated to get a signal over the minimum detection level. For such clean herbal food supplements no suitable method exists at all among the CEN standardised methods for irradiation detection.
    European Food Research and Technology 04/2006; 223(1):39-43. · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An intake of trans-fatty acids of 5 grams per day is associated with an increase of 25% in the risk of ischemic heart disease. In 2004 Denmark, as the first country in the world, introduced a limitation on the content of industrially produced trans-fatty acids in foods. The amount in a "high-trans menu" consisting of popular foods was, from 2001 to 2005, reduced in Denmark from 30 g to <1 g. The amount in the same menu bought in countries within and outside the European Union is 20-40 g. During a period of just a few years, Denmark has thus eliminated a risk factor for ischemic heart disease without noticeable side effects for consumers. This risk factor is, however, still present in many other countries.
    Ugeskrift for laeger 04/2006; 168(17):1654-7.
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the intake of ruminant trans fatty acids (TFA) in the Danish population aged 1-80 years. Descriptive study. A sex- and age-stratified random sample drawn from the Danish Civil Registration System. A total of 3098 participants (51% female) aged 1-80 years were included. The participation was 66%. DIETARY INFORMATION: A 7-day dietary record. The estimated median intake of ruminant TFA was 1.4 g/day with the 80% central range being from 0.9 to 2.1 among children aged 1-6 years and 1.6 g/day (1.0-2.4) among children aged 7-14 years. The median TFA intake was 1.8 g/day (0.9-2.9) among adults aged 15-29 years and among adults aged 30-80 years. The intake expressed as percentage of energy intake was 0.8, 0.6, 0.7, and 0.7, respectively. Dairy products were the main source of ruminant TFA. The median intake of ruminant TFA in the Danish population aged 1-80 years is estimated to be 1.7 g/day (0.9-2.7), corresponding to 0.7% of energy intake (0.5-1.0), with dairy products being the main source of ruminant TFA. The Danish Heart Foundation (Grants 02-2-9-8-22010 and 03-2-9-4-22087) and the Female Researchers in Joint Action (FREJA) programme from the Danish Medical Research Council.
    European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 04/2006; 60(3):312-8. · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased fish oil intake is associated with protection against coronary heart disease and sudden death, while effects on atherosclerosis are controversial. We explored the effects of supplementing fish oil (rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, PUFA) or corn oil (rich in n-6 PUFA) in two different models of atherosclerosis. Sixty-three low density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (LDLR(-/-)) mice and sixty-nine apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE(-/-)) mice were fed diets without supplementations or supplemented with either 1% fish oil or 1% corn oil. In apoE(-/-) mice, neither fish oil nor corn oil had any major impact on plasma lipids or atherosclerosis. In LDLR(-/-) mice, conversely, the fish oil and the corn oil group had lower levels of LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides and had lesser atherosclerosis in the aortic root and in the entire aorta (p < 0.01 versus unsupplemented group). Atherosclerosis was significantly less in the fish oil group compared with the corn oil group when evaluated en face in the aortic arch (area positive to lipid staining: 32% with fish oil versus 38% with corn oil; 48% with unsupplemented diet). n-3 and n-6 PUFA supplementation retarded the development of atherosclerosis in LDLR(-/-) mice, with a stronger effect seen with n-3 PUFA. There was an important strain-dependence of the effect, with no protection against atherosclerosis in apoE(-/-) mice.
    Atherosclerosis 01/2006; 184(1):78-85. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The total vitamin D content in meat, i.e., vitamin D3 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, was determined by HPLC after alkaline hydrolysation, solid-phase extraction and semi-preparative HPLC. For detection, a DAD detector between 220 and 320 nm was used and quantification was performed at 265 nm. Vitamin D2 was used as internal standard for vitamin D3 as well as for 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. Precision for vitamin D3 was determined in lean meat and lard to 9.1% and 7.1%, respectively. The corresponding values for 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 were 8.9% and 9.9%. Accuracy was determined in spiked samples, which showed a recovery of 94.7% and 99.0% for vitamin D3 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, respectively. The method is applicable for establishing data for food composition tables.
    Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 01/2004;
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    ABSTRACT: The contents of vitamin D3 and its metabolically active metabolite 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD3) were examined by HPLC in different parts of four common raw pork cuts (loin boneless, leg inside, thin belly, neck) and in cooked meat (loin boneless). In whole raw pork cuts, varying in fat content from 2.2 to 26.5 g/100 g, concentrations of vitamin D3 from 0.05 to 0.21 μg/100 g were measured. Pork cuts also contained significant amounts of 25OHD3, from 0.07 to 0.14 μg/100 g. Further, the study demonstrated that most of the vitamin D3 and 25OHD3 is located in the fatty tissues, and that rind, despite its limited fat content, has a high concentration of vitamin D3 and 25OHD3. Cooking increased vitamin D3 and 25OHD3 calculated per 100 g of tissue in all parts and in the whole cut (in whole cuts in raw and cooked meat, respectively: vitamin D3: 0.15 (0.08–0.24) μg/100 g and 0.18 (0.11–0.28) μg/100 g; P=0.33; 25OHD3: 0.09 (0.06–0.18) μg/100 g and 0.13 (0.10–0.18) μg/100 g; P=0.02); however, correcting for differences in dry matter content, ameliorated all significant differences. 25OHD3 has a higher (from 1.5 to 5 times) biological activity than vitamin D3. Meat 25OHD3 contributes significantly to vitamin D activity. Food databases should include concentrations of both vitamin D and 25OHD.
    Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 10/2003;
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    ABSTRACT: Margarines and shortenings have been major contributors to the intake by humans of the probably atherogenic trans FA (TFA). In 1999, all 73 brands of margarines and shortenings on the Danish market were analyzed by GLC on a 50-m highly polar capillary column, and the results were compared with similar investigations in 1992 and 1995. A gradual decline of TFA in Danish margarines was observed. From 1992 to 1995, a reduction of TFA from 10.4 to 3.6% took place in margarines with 20–40% linoleic acid. In 1999, TFA was practically absent in all the margarines, but it remained unchanged in shortenings, averaging about 6–7%. Long-chain TFA from hydrogenated fish oil, although present in 13 brands in 1995, were not found at all in the 1999 samples. Trans-linoleic acids or CLA were not found. The reduction in TFA content in margarines has not resulted in a systematic change over the years in the content of saturated FA, monounsaturated FA, or PUFA. Calculated from sales figures, the intake of TFA decreased from 2.2 g per capita per year in 1992, to 1.5 g in 1995, and to 0.4 g in 1999.
    Journal of Oil & Fat Industries 04/2003; 80(5):475-478. · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recognising the importance of fish in the Bangladeshi diet, the objective of the present study was to screen commonly consumed fish species for vitamin A content to evaluate the potential of fish as a vitamin A source in food-based strategies to combat vitamin A deficiency. Samples of 26 commonly consumed fish species and one crustacean were collected in Kishoreganj and Mymensingh, Bangladesh. To obtain edible parts, the fish were cleaned by Bangladeshi women according to traditional practices. Distribution of vitamin A in parts of the fish and the effect of the cleaning practices on the vitamin A content in#10; edible parts were assessed. The content of vitamin A compounds was analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography. The vitamin A content in small fish ranged from 2680 retinol equivalents (RE)/100 g raw edible parts in mola (Amblypharyngodon mola) to 20 RE/100 g raw edible parts in chata (Colisa lalia; an alternative scientific name is Colisa lalius). The vitamin A content in cultured species, silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), rui (Labeo rohita), mrigal (Cirrhinus mrigala) and tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) was low, <30 RE/100 g raw edible parts. In mola, 90% of the vitamin A was found in the eyes and viscera. The vitamin A content in the screened fish species was highly variable, by more than a factor of 100. The existence of commonly consumed fish in Bangladesh belonging to the categories of very high and high vitamin A content offers a great unexploited potential for food-based strategies to improve the vitamin A intake by promoting the production and consumption of these species.
    International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 09/2002; 53(5):425-37. · 1.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Flavonoids are a part of the large group of polyphenols, and they are found in tea, fruit, vegetables, and red wine. The daily flavonoid (flavonols and flavanones) intake in Denmark was calculated based on consumption and analysis of flavonoid contents of foods on the Danish market. Orange, tea, onions, and orange juice were found to provide the greatest contributions to the total flavonoid intake, whereas green vegetables made minor contributions to the intake. Gender differences in flavonoid intake were observed, a lower mean flavonol and flavanone consumption was calculated for men (20 mglday) than for women (26 mglday). The gender difference could be almost solely explained by the differences in consumption of tea and oranges. It will, however, be relevant to consider a total estimate of flavonoids (flavones, flavonols, flavanones, procyanidins, and anthocyanidins), as well as other natural antioxidants, to evaluate the health effects of foods.
    Food & Nutrition Research 06/2000; 44.
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the intake of carotenoids in the Danish population Danish fruits and vegetables were screened with an HPLC method consisting of extraction with ethanol:tetrahydrofuran, separation by reversed phase HPLC with the mobile phase acetonitril:methanol:dichlormethan, triethylamin, BHT and detection at 450 nm. Food intakes were estimated by the national dietary surveys (1995) from 7 days' food registration (n = 1837 adults), which allows the whole diet to be described by the mean intake and intake distribution of 207 raw or semiprepared foods. By multiplication with the mean content in the foods the mean intake and intake distribution of the carotenoids were calculated. Carrots and tomatoes have both high contents of carotenoids (8,450 μg/100 g - + β-carotene and 4,790 μg/100 g lycopene, respectively) and high intakes (19 and 15 g/day, respectively) and were responsible for 47% and 32%, respectively, of the mean intake of carotenoids of 4.8 mg/day. A median value of 4.1 mg/day was found indicating skewed intake distributions. The difference between men and women was 0.4 mg/day (p < 0.0065). Only four carotenoids, -carotene, β-carotene, lutein and lycopene, contributed significantly to the intake. Women had a 6 g/day higher intake of carrots than men (p < 0.0001), which explains the 0.4 mg/day difference in the intake between men and women, and the 25th percentile was well over zero (5.0 g/day for men and 5.9 g/day for women) indicating that almost everybody consumed at least some carrots.
    European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 03/2000; 102(2):128 - 132. · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the intake of trans fatty acids (TFA) and other fatty acids in 14 Western European countries. A maximum of 100 foods per country were sampled and centrally analysed. Each country calculated the intake of individual trans and other fatty acids, clusters of fatty acids and total fat in adults and/or the total population using the best available national food consumption data set. A wide variation was observed in the intake of total fat and (clusters) of fatty acids in absolute amounts. The variation in proportion of energy derived from total fat and from clusters of fatty acids was less. Only in Finland, Italy, Norway and Portugal total fat did provide on average less than 35% of energy intake. Saturated fatty acids (SFA) provided on average between 10% and 19% of total energy intake, with the lowest contribution in most Mediterranean countries. TFA intake ranged from 0.5% (Greece, Italy) to 2.1% (Iceland) of energy intake among men and from 0.8% (Greece) to 1.9% among women (Iceland) (1.2-6.7 g/d and 1.7-4.1 g/d, respectively). The TFA intake was lowest in Mediterranean countries (0.5-0.8 en%) but was also below 1% of energy in Finland and Germany. Moderate intakes were seen in Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway and UK and highest intake in Iceland. Trans isomers of C18:1 were the most TFA in the diet. Monounsaturated fatty acids contributed 9-12% of mean daily energy intake (except for Greece, nearly 18%) and polyunsaturated fatty acids 3-7%. The current intake of TFA in most Western European countries does not appear to be a reason for major concern. In several countries a considerable proportion of energy was derived from SFA. It would therefore be prudent to reduce intake of all cholesterol-raising fatty acids, TFA included.
    European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 03/1999; 53(2):143-57. · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    Lars Ovesen, Torben Leth, Kirsten Hansen
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined trans monounsaturated fatty acid contents in all margarines and shortenings marketed in Denmark, and in frying fats used by the fast-food restaurants Burger King and McDonald’s. Trans C18:1 content was 4.1±3.8% (g per 100 g fatty acids) in hard margarines, significantly higher than the content in soft margarines of 0.4±0.8%. Shortenings had an even higher content of trans C18:1, 6.7±2.3%, than the hard margarines. Margarines and shortenings with high contents of long-chain fatty acids had about 20% total trans monoenoic of which close to 50% were made up of trans long-chain fatty acids. Both fast-food frying fats contained large amounts of trans C18:1, 21.9±2.9% in Burger King and 16.6±0.4% in McDonald’s. In Denmark the per capita supply of trans C18:1 from margarines and shortenings and frying fats has decreased steadily during recent years. The supply of trans C18:1 from margarines and shortenings in the Danish diet is now 1.1 g per day.
    Journal of Oil & Fat Industries 12/1998; 75(9):1079-1083. · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    Torben Leth, Lars Ovesen, Kirsten Hansen
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    ABSTRACT: The fatty acid composition was determined in 39 samples of beef, 20 samples of veal, and 34 samples of lamb, representative of the supply of ruminant meat in Denmark. Five cuts of beef and veal and three cuts of lamb with increasing fat content were selected, and analysis of the fatty acid methyl esters was performed by gas-liquid chromatography (GLC) on a polar 50-m capillary column CP Sil 88 with flame-ionization detection. Lamb had the highest content of saturated fatty acids (52.8±1.8 g/100 g fatty acids), higher than beef and veal (45.3±3.1 and 45.4±0.8 g/100 g fatty acids, respectively). Cis monounsaturated fatty acids were 49.2±3.1, 44.9±1.8, and 37.7±1.7, and polyunsaturated fatty acids were 3.3±0.7, 5.8±2.0, and 5.0±0.1 g/100 g fatty acids in beef, veal, and lamb, respectively. Beef contained 2.1±0.8 g trans C18:1 per 100 g fatty acids, about half that found in veal (4.0±1.2 g/100 g fatty acids) and lamb (4.5±0.6 g/100 g fatty acids). Trans C16:1 was 0.24±0.01, 0.14±0.02, and 0.79±0.02 g/100 g fatty acids in beef, veal, and lamb, respectively. Only small variations in trans and other fatty acids could be demonstrated between cuts. The overlap between cis and trans C18:1 by capillary GLC was verified by argentation-thin-layer chromatography followed by GLC, on three samples of veal and three samples of lamb. In veal 1.0 g, and in lamb 1.4 g trans C18:1 per 100 g fatty acids were hidden under the cis C18:1 peak. The mean intake of trans fatty acids from ruminant meat is estimated at 0.2 g/d.
    Journal of Oil & Fat Industries 07/1998; 75(8):1001-1005. · 1.59 Impact Factor