Van den Bergh Foods, a division of Unilever subsidiary Conopco, has been awarded a new patent for ‘edible fat spread.’ The background to the patent is that recent publications have stated that trans unsaturated fatty acid residues have an effect on blood cholesterol levels resembling that of saturated fatty acids (Safa). These findings have created a consumer demand for products in which the content of trans fatty acid residues is at least considerably reduced, but preferably zero.

Protected under US patent number 6238723, the abstract reads:

A fat is provided which is substantially free of trans saturated fatty acid residues and suitable for use in the preparation of a spread, which consists of an interesterified mixture of 30-90% of high lauric rapeseed oil, and 10-70% of an oil A comprising at least 40% of saturated fatty acid residues of which saturated fatty acid residues at least 80% are C16-C18 fatty acid residues and at most 60% are C16 fatty acid residues. The fat is used for preparing margarine fats and spreads. It provides low-trans and trans-free spreads with improved properties, while problems caused by slow crystallization are avoided.

To get the full details of the patent, please click here.