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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 11 Issue 3 (2006) pp 178-180

A Rapid Method for the Determination of the Percentage of Aliphatic versus Vinyl Hydrogen Atoms and Levels of Trans Fatty Acids in Triacylglycerols

Michael D. Mosher*, Alex Haeberle, Scott Vincent, Andrea Martinez-Skinner, Don Kaufman*

Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, NE 68849-1150,;
Received September 9, 2005. Accepted March 9, 2006.

Published online: 8 May 2006

Abstract. The percentage of aliphatic versus vinyl hydrogen atoms in common fats and oils can be determined using one-dimensional proton NMR. Using a similar procedure, the percent of trans-fatty acids in partially hydrogenated fats and oils can be determined using 13C NMR. The experiment is suitable for the analytical, biochemistry or organic chemistry laboratory.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; analytic; biochemistry; NMR

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (225 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Sample step-by-step instructions for analyzing the percent aliphatic versus vinyl protons in a fat and an oil using 1H NMR, sample calculations required to convert reported composition of fats/oils to percent vinyl protons, and step-by-step instructions for analyzing the mole percent trans fatty acids in a margarine made from partially hydrogenated fats or oils using 13C NMR are provided. (475 KB)

Issue date: June 1, 2006

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