trans-fatty acid or trans fat·ty ac·id [trans-fat-ee] Word Origin
- an unsaturated fatty acid formed by the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oil, believed to raise blood cholesterol levels.
- a polyunsaturated fatty acid that has been converted from the cis-form by hydrogenation: used in the manufacture of margarine
trans fatty acid in Science trans fatty acid
- A fatty acid that is commonly produced by the partial hydrogenation of the unsaturated fatty acid vegetable oils. Trans fatty acids are present in hardened vegetable oils, most margarines, commercial baked foods, and many fried foods. An excess of these fats in the diet raises lipid levels in the blood. The term trans refers to the opposed positioning of hydrogen atoms when unsaturated fats are partially hydrogenated.