Timeline of fats

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This is a timeline of fats, attempting to describe the variety of fats, including saturated, unsaturated, trans fats, and interesterified fats.

Sample questions

The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:

  • What topics are mentioned in this timeline?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Key topic".
    • You will see topics often arbitrarily picked from the details, with the purpose to give an illustrative but comprehensive overview of the discussion.
  • What are some notable scientific discoveries and developments involving fats?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Scientific development".
    • You will find a large number of studies, often involving discoveries or synthesis of fatty acids.
  • What are some of the increasing regulations having been imposed across the world on the use of fats in food products?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Policy".
    • You sill see a number of policies imposed by authorities, including food strandards, commercial bans, and compulsory labeling, etc.
  • What are some notable or illustrative publications on the topic of fats?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Literature".
    • You will see a number of sample publications on the topic.
  • What are some notable recommendations of fat intake issued by competent entities?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Recommendation".
    • You will see a number of dietary guidelines and recommendations issued by competent entities.
  • What are some notable campaigns aimed at educating the population on fat consumption?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Program launch".
    • You will see endeavors aimed at improving the diet of consumer-citizens, whether through educational programs or campaigns aimed at influencing policies.
  • What are some notable events describing the industrialization of fats for mass consumption?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Industrial development".
    • You will see a number of notable events illustrating the evolution of new products, starting from soap in early history, to shortening in the 20th century.

Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
Ancient times Early history Fatty acids are used already in very early times, specifically in the preparation of soap. The ancient Babylonians use soap as early as 2500 BC. By 800 AD–900 AD, the soap industry is well established in Germany and France.[1]
18th–19th centuries Early scientific development Cholesterol in solid form is identified in the 18th century. In the 19th century Michel Eugène Chevreul stands out for his prolific research on fats. In the 19th century, one of the most important discoveries is the introduction of an industrially relevant method to split fats and oils into fatty acids and glycerin.[1]
20th century (first half) Recognition of fat importance Dietary fat is recognized as a good source of energy and fat-soluble vitamins by the first part of the century.[2] Proteins and carbohydrates are known to be indispensable dietary components by the first decade.[2] In the 1920s, industrial hydrogenation of edible oils develops in Europe and the United States.[3] During the first half of the century, higher-fat milk and dairy products were more costly.[4] Lipases and colipases are isolated and characterized.[4] In the 1930s Burr and Burr demonstrate the concept that some fatty acids may be necessary for the proper growth and development of animals.[5] Concern over the health impacts of trans fats first emerge in the 1940s.[6]
20th century (second half) Recognition of potencial harm Research on trans fatty acids begin in the 1950s.[7] By the late 1950s, scientists establish a clear link between the intake of saturated fat and heart disease,[6][8] while health advocates start proposing a reduction saturated fats, such as in butter and beef, from the diets, which propells the use of margarine instead, a trend that would increase abruptly toward the 1980s.[9] Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, saturated fat begin acquiring a bad reputation.[10] In the 1960s, essential fatty acids start being considered of importance in human nutrition.[5] In the 1970s, saturated fat is condemned as harmful since Ancel Keys’s landmark “seven countries” study.[11] In the 1980s, an association between high intake of saturated fat and increased risk of heart disease is firmly established,[6] however, this era's recommendations about switching to a low-fat diet are not supported by science, with any high-quality evidence to support that advice.[10] In the 1990s, evidence emerges indicating that trans fats carry a higher risk for heart disease than saturated fats.[6] Several studies conducted in this decade show a connection between trans fat and increased levels of bad cholesterol.[9]
21st century Policy enforcement/change in sentiment In the early 2000s, health agencies in various countries worldwide recognize the need to introduce regulations controlling the amount of trans fats used in manufactured foods.[6] In recent times, there's an increasing debate over the role saturated fats play in the development of heart disease, with more experts claiming that saturated fats not only are not that harmful,[12] but even healthy.[13][14] Today, a general consensus claims that trans fats are harmful, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are healthy, and saturated fats are regarded somewhere in-between.[15] Scientists universally accept that trans fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease through inflammatory processes.[11]

Numerical and visual data

Google Scholar

The following table summarizes per-year mentions on Google Scholar as of October 6, 2021.

Year "trans fat" "saturated fat" "fatty acid" "triglyceride"
1900 1 2 52 19
1910 0 4 123 9
1920 0 1 171 13
1930 1 6 261 21
1940 1 14 399 41
1950 0 14 811 80
1960 2 72 2,060 376
1970 1 157 5,520 1,980
1980 6 537 9,440 3,440
1990 17 1,240 16,700 5,380
2000 83 2,570 35,300 11,000
2010 1,460 6,330 116,000 30,100
2020 2,360 9,960 68,700 32,200
Fat gsch.png

Google Trends

The chart below shows Google Trends data for Fat (food), from January 2004 to October 2021, when the screenshot was taken. Interest is also ranked by country and displayed on world map.[16]

Fat gt.png

Google Ngram Viewer

The comparative chart below shows Google Ngram Viewer data for trans fat, saturated fat, fatty acid and triglyceride from 1800 to 2019.[17]

Fat ngram.png

Wikipedia Views

The chart below shows pageviews of the English Wikipedia article Fat, from July 2015 to September 2021.[18]

Fat wv.png

Full timeline

Year Event type Key topic Fat type (when applicable) Details Location
800 AD Industrial development Fatty acid Soap, which is a salt of a fatty acid, is produced in Germany.[1] Germany
1551 Scientific development Adipose tissue Adipose tissue – more specifically brown adipose tissue– is first identified by Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner.[19]
1769 Scientific development Cholesterol François Poulletier de la Salle first identifies cholesterol in solid form in gallstones. Some consider this to be the start of the story of lipids in humans.[20] France
1770s Medical development Fish liver oil Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Reports from this time indicate that fish liver oils are used for the treatment of rickets, osteomalacia, general malnutrition, and eye conditions, thus linking, for the first time, fish liver oils and the factor termed “fat-soluble A.”[4] Today, it is known that fish body oil and fish liver oil are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can help control the immune system and fight joint inflammation.[21]
1779 Scientific development Glycerol Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele discovers that glycerol could be obtained from olive oil by heating it with litharge (lead monoxide).[22] Along with fatty acids, glycerol is one of the two main components of a fat molecule.[23] Sweden
1791 Scientific development Essential oil, greasy oil Swiss scientist Jean Senebier reports in the Encyclopédie méthodique, Physiologie végétale a classification of oils. They are separated into essential and greasy oils.[24] Switzerland
1792 Scientific development Oil oxidation Jean Senebier observes that exposure to air causes oils to go white, lose their fluidity, and in time go rancid. Further investigation convinces him that rancidity involves oxidation.[25] Switzerland
1813 Scientific development Fatty acid The concept of fatty acid (acide gras) is introduced by Michel Eugène Chevreul,[26][27] though he initially uses some variant terms: graisse acide and acide huileux ("acid fat" and "oily acid").[28] France
1814 Scientific development Butyric acid Saturated French chemist Michel-Eugène Chevreul first observes butyric acid. By 1818, he purifies it sufficiently to characterize it.[29][1] France
1814 Scientific development Oil body Michel-Eugène Chevreul shows that hog’s lard consists of two distinct oily bodies: one being a solid at room temperature and the other, a liquid.[25] France
1815 Scientific development Cholesterol Michel-Eugène Chevreul demonstrates the chemical nature of fats and oils.[22] He also names the compound "cholesterine".[30][31] France
1815 Scientific development Lipid Henri Braconnot classifies lipids (graisses) in two categories, suifs (solid greases or tallow) and huiles (fluid oils).[32] France
1816 Scientific development Caproic acid Saturated Michel-Eugène Chevreul first isolates caproic acid (from the Latin word caper, meaning goat) from butter.[33] A saturated medium-chain fatty acid with a 6-carbon backbone, caproic acid is found naturally in various plant and animal fats and oils.[34] This fatty acid works as an anti-viral, as well as boots energy, and promotes weight loss.[35] France
1819 Scientific development Elaidic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−9)) French chemist Jean-Joseph-Etienne Poutet from Marseille first obtains elaidic acid[36], a monounsaturated trans fatty acid.[37][38] France
1823 Scientific development Lipid classification French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul develops a more detailed classification of lipids, including oils, greases, tallow, waxes, resins, balsams and volatile oils (or essential oils).[39][40] France
1823 Scientific development Stearic acid Saturated Michel Eugène Chevreul first describes stearic acid, named from the Greek word stéar, meaning tallow (also known as beef fat).[41] France
1823 Scientific development Oleic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−9)) Michel Eugène Chevreul first recognizes oleic acid in pork fat.[42] Oleic acid is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in various animal and vegetable fats and oils.[43] France
1823 Literature Michel Eugène Chevreul Michel Eugène Chevreul publishes Chemistry of Fats and Oils.[1] France
1825 Scientific development Fatty acids distillation Distillation of fatty acids is achieved.[1]
1827 Scientific development Fat as nutrient English chemist William Prout recognizes fat ("oily" alimentary matters), along with protein ("albuminous") and carbohydrate ("saccharine"), as an important nutrient for humans and animals.[44][45] United Kingdom
1828 Scientific development Fatty acid separation A method for separation of solid and liquid fatty acids is obtained.[1]
1832 Scientific development Elaidic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−9)) F. Boudet, studying accurately J.J.E. Poutet’s work, manages to isolate elaidic acid, and names it acide élaidique.[36]
1840 Scientific development Palmitic acid Saturated French chemist Edmond Frémy discovers palmitic acid in saponified palm oil.[46] France
1841 Scientific development Myristic acid Saturated Lyon Playfair first isolates myristic acid from nutmeg (Myristica fragrans).[47]
1842 Scientific development Lauric acid Saturated T. Marsson discovers lauric acid in the seeds of Laurus nobilis, from which its name.[48]
1844 Scientific development Triglyceride, fat interesterification Interesterified The first synthetic triglyceride is reported by Théophile-Jules Pelouze, who manages to produce tributyrin by treating butyric acid with glycerin in the presence of concentrated sulfuric acid.[49] This is the earliest record of enzymatic Interesterification.[50] France
1844 Scientific development Linoleic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) Linoleic acid (from the Latin linon, meaning flax, plus oleic, meaning oil or olive oil) is isolated by F. Sacc from linseed oil.[51] It is a polyunsaturated essential fatty acid found mostly in plant oils.[52]
1844 Scientific development Propionic acid Saturated Austrian chemist Johann Gottlieb first describes propionic acid, after finding it among the degradation products of sugar.[53]
1847 Scientific development Phospholipid French pharmacist Theodore Nicolas Gobley discovers phospholipids in mammalian brain and hen egg, called by him as "lecithins".[54] France
1848 Scientific development Behenic acid Saturated Behenic acid is first reported by A. Voelcker.[55][1]
1848 Scientific development Ricinoleic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−9)) Ricinoleic acid is discovered.[1]
1849 Scientific development Pancreatic juice French physiologist Claude Bernard reports that pancreatic juice is involved in the breakdown of fat to glycerine and fatty acids for subsequent absorption.[4] France
1849 Scientific development Erucic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−9))[56] Erucic acid is discovered.[1]
1852 Scientific development Polymorphism Polymorphism is discovered.[1] Today, an important quality parameter in fat research as well as in industrial applications is the polymorphic state of edible fats.[57]
1853 Scientific development Gylceride The term gylceride is first used.[1]
1854 Scientific development Triglyceride (triacetin) Triacetin is first prepared by French chemist Marcellin Berthelot.[58] France
1854 Scientific development Palmitoleic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−7)) P.G. Hofstädter first notices palmitoleic acid in sperm whale oil and names physetoleic acid.[59]
1855 Scientific development Glycerol The correct structure of glycerol is determined.[1]
1856 Scientific development Lipid German pathologist Rudolf Virchow first describes lipid accumulation in arterial walls.[60] Germany
1869 Scientific development Margarine Unsaturated French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès invents the margarine. In the same year, he wins a prize offered by Napoleon III for a satisfactory butter substitute.[22][61] Margarine is made from vegetable oils, so it contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These types of fats help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL).[62] France
1876 Scientific development Cholesterol German chemist Adolf Windaus reports that plaques in aortas from atherosclerosis patients contain 20 times more cholesterol than normal aortas.[20] Germany
1879 Scientific development Lipid The Soxhlet extractor is invented by German chemist Franz von Soxhlet. It is originally designed for the extraction of a lipid from a solid material.[1]
1881 Scientific development Hydroxy myristic acid Hydroxy myristic acid is discovered.[1]
1886 Scientific development Brassidic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated) Brassidic acid is first prepared from erucic acid by W. Reimer. It is an unsaturated fatty acid, member of the sub-group called very long chain fatty acids.[63]
1886 Scientific development Linoleic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) The diene structure of linoleic acid is determined.[1]
1887 Scientific development alpha-Linolenic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) alpha-Linolenic acid is isolated by K. Hazura and Monatsh.[64] First found in hempseed oil, it is a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants.[65][25]
1887 Scientific development Triene acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated) Triene acid in hempseed oil is determined.[1]
1888 Scientific development Cholesterol Friedrich Reinitzer describes the molecular structure of cholesterol.[20]
1890 Scientific development Fats, proteins, carbohydrates It is written that “fat stands between the two great nutrients, proteids (proteins) on the one hand and carbohydrates on the other, and we find that we can indulge in considerable latitude as to its use. When we wish to get our food in a more condensed form, we can use fats freely.”[4]
1892 Scientific development Acetylenic acid The first acetylenic acid is reported.[1]
1894 Scientific development Ricinoleic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−9)) The correct structure of ricinoleic acid is determined.[1]
1895 Literature Fat chemistry The first book on the chemistry of fats and oils is published.[1]
1897 Scientific development Hydrogenation French chemist Paul Sabatier describes the hydrogenation of organic compounds in the presence of finely disintegrated metals. Catalytic hydrogenation is considered a major advance in fatty acid chemistry. Sabatier would be later awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry.[1][25] France
1898 Scientific development Fat-splitting United States chemist Ernst Twitchell patents a catalytic method for fat-splitting. Later known as the Twitchell process, it consists in acid catalyst being prepared by the reaction of oleic acid with sulfuric acid and naphthalene.[66] United States
1898 Scientific development Chromatography Liquid chromatography is reported as a purification method of fatty acids.[1]
1898 Scientific development Oleic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−9)) The structure of oleic acid is elucidated by the works of J. Baruch and F.G. Edmed.[42] It is a mono-unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.[67][1]
1900 Scientific development Benzenestearosulphonic acid Ernst Twitchell reports that treatment of oleic acid and benzene with concentrated sulfuric acid yields benzene stearosulphonic acid useful as a fat-splitting reagent.[1]
1900 Industrial development Oil extraction The first continuous screw press for extracting oil from oil seeds is manufactured V. D. Anderson in Cleveland, Ohio. Called the "expeller", it is much more efficient than earlier hydraulic presses, but it still leaves much of the oil in the meal and much room, therefore, for improvement.[25] United States
1901 Scientific development Hydrogenation German chemist Wilhelm Normann experiments with hydrogenation catalysts and successfully induces the hydrogenation of liquid fat, producing semisolid fat, which came to be known as trans fat.[6] Germany
1902 Scientific development Fat deposition Rosenfeld shows that a high-carbohydrate, low protein diet results in fat deposition.[68]
1903 Scientific development Hydrogenation German chemist Wilhelm Normann patents the hydrogenation of liquid oils,[6] which "converts unsaturated fatty acids into saturated compounds".[25] Germany
1904 Scientific development Cyclopentyl acid The first cyclopentyl acid is discovered.[1]
1905 Scientific development Purified fat Pekelharing observes that mice could not grow optimally while consuming only a mixture of purified fat, carbohydrate, and protein.[4]
1906 Scientific development Palmitoleic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−7)) H. Bull discovers the molecular composition of palmitoleic acid, at the time when Lewkowitsch gives the present name.[59]
1906 Scientific development Gadoleic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−11)) H. Bull discovers gadoleic acid in cod liver oil.[69]
1906 Industrial development Hydrogenation Joseph Crosfields & Sons in Warrington, England, begin industrial hydrogenation in Europe.[70] United Kingdom
1908 Scientific development Penta-2,3-dienedioic acid Penta-2,3-dienedioic acid is isolated from the leaf resin of European alder Alnus glutinosa (Betulaceae).[66]
1909 Scientific development Cholesterol, atherosclerosis Alexander I. Ignatowski describes the relationship between a diet rich in cholesterol and atherosclerosis.[71][72]
1909 Scientific development alpha-Linolenic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) The exact structure of alpha-Linolenic acid is clarified by E. Erdmann et al.[64] This fatty acid is popular for preventing and treating diseases of the heart and blood vessels.[73]
1909 Scientific development Petroselinic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−11))[74] Petroselinic acid is first isolated from parsley seed oil.[75]
1910 Scientific development Cholesterol, atherosclerosis Windaus demonstrates that atherosclerotic lesions contain six times more free cholesterol and 20 times more esterified cholesterol compared with the healthy arterial wall.[71]
1911 Industrial development Shortening Trans fat After acquiring the US rights to Normann’s patent[3], Procter & Gamble introduces Crisco (short for crystallized cotton oil), the first food product that contains trans fat.[6] It is a solid vegetable fat made by hydrogenating cottonseed oil, thus providing a low-cost, vegetable-derived alternative to butter and lard.[25] This is the first all-vegetable household shortening with cottonseed oil.[76] United States
1911 Industrial development Soybean oil The first commercial quantities of soybeans are imported into the United States from Manchuria and are crushed for oil.[25] United States
1912 Scientific development Lipid Jacob Rosenbloom and William J. Gies propose the substitution of "lipoid" by "lipin".[77]
1912 Scientific development Fat-soluble vitamin A American biochemist Elmer McCollum at the University of Wisconsin begins using rats instead of humans in his experiments rather than cows and sheep. He finds the first fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin A, and discovers that rats are healthier when they are fed butter rather than lard, as butter contains more Vitamin A.[78] United States
1912 Industrial development Hydrogenated fat Hydrogenated fats appear on the market. Today, they still remain the most important raw material in margarine and shortening.[79]
1913 Scientific development Cholesterol Anitschkow shows that it is possible to establish atherosclerosis in rabbits by feeding cholesterol. Since then virtually all research on atherosclerosis would be centered on both circulating cholesterol and dietary cholesterol.[80]
1913 Scientific development Arachidonic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) Dyerberg and Bang identify very small amounts of an unsaturated fatty acid contained in Eskimos’ blood. They name it arachidonic acid because it is the same length as arachidic acid, a saturated fat found in peanuts, but has multiple double bonds.[25]
1913 Scientific development Fat-soluble vitamin A A “fat-soluble A” factor necessary to support life is identified. This factor is thought to cure xerophthalmia and rickets.[4]
1913 Scientific development Cholesterol, atherosclerosis Russian pathologist Nikolay Anichkov demonstrates that cholesterol and fat gives rise to atherosclerotic changes in the vessel walls of rabbits, and atherosclerosis occurs by direct deposition of fat in the vascular wall.[71][81] Russia
1918 Scientific development Fat as nutrient German physician Hans Aron in Breslau is arguably the first to suggest that fats have nutritional functions other than provision of food energy,[82][5][83] proposing that butter has a nutrient value that cannot be provided by other dietary components.[84] This is the first evidence of the existence of fatty acids.[85][86] Germany
1918 Scientific development Continuous centrifuge Continuous centrifuge is patented as a method to separate both solids and immiscible liquids.[1]
1919 Scientific development Essential fatty acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated Von Groer reports on two infants who were on skim milk diets for 9 months and had retarded growth, poor appetite, and possible respiratory infections. After their diets were supplemented with essential fatty acid for several months, these infants are found to be healthy, with a normal growth rate and weight gain.[82]
1920 Scientific development Linoleic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) Meyerhof finds that linoleic acid and sulphur-rich proteins work together to help fatigued muscle recover rapidly from exercise and exertion.[68]
1920 Scientific development Fat interesterification Interesterified Wilhelm Norman, who also patented the catalytic hydrogenation of fatty acids, is granted a patent for the chemical interesterification of edible lipids.[87]
1920 Scientific development Dimer acid Dimer acids are discovered.[1]
1920 Scientific development Lipid Bloor introduces a new classification for "lipoids": simple lipoids (greases and waxes), compound lipoids (phospholipoids and glycolipoids), and the derived lipoids (fatty acids, alcohols, sterols).[88][89]
1921 Scientific development Fatty acid (solid and liquid) The separation of solid and liquid fatty acids is first obtained.[1]
1923 Scientific development Lipid The word lipide, which stems etymologically from Greek λίπος, lipos 'fat', is introduced by French pharmacologist Gabriel Bertrand.[90]
1923 Scientific development Continuous refining Continuous refining of fats is patented.[1]
1924 Scientific development Lipid (chylomicron) Simon Henry Gage and Pierre Augustine Fish show that after a fatty meal human blood contains tiny particles (1 µm) called chylomicrons.[20]
1924 Scientific development Fat interesterification Industrial fat interesterification is patented.[1]
1924 Scientific development Linoleic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) Albert Szent-Györgyi discovers that the system of sulphur-rich protein and linoleic acid takes up oxygen. However, he lacks the biochemical techniques to prove the identity of the components of this system conclusively.[68]
1925 Scientific development Palmitoleic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−7)) E.F. Armstrong et al. establish the structure of palmitoleic acid as an unsaturated fatty acid.[59]
1926 Scientific development Fatty acid oxidation German physiologist Otto Heinrich Warburg shows that a fatty substance is required to restart oxidation when it is low, as is the case in cancer and other degenerative conditions.[68]
1927 Scientific development Fat deficiency American scientists Herbert McLean Evans and George Oswald Burr demonstrate that, despite the addition of vitamins A, D, and E to the diet, a deficiency of fat severely affects both growth and reproduction of experimental animals.[85] United States
1927 Scientific development Fat classification A method for classifying fats is introduced.[1]
1927 Scientific development Nervonic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−9))[91] M. Tsujimoto discovers nervonic acid in fats of Elasmobranchii, a subclass of chondrichthyes including fishes with fusiform (selachii like sharks from with its first name selacholeic acid) or flatten (batoidea like ray) bodies.[92]
1928 Scientfic development Vaccenic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−7)) Vaccenic acid is discovered in animal fats and butter. Mammals convert it into rumenic acid, a conjugated linoleic acid,[93][94]

where it shows anticarcinogenic properties.[95]

1929 Scientific development Dietary fatty acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated) George and Mildred Burr report that dietary fatty acid is required to prevent a deficiency disease that occurs in rats fed a fat-free diet. They conclude that fatty acids are essential nutrients and show that linoleic acid prevents the disease and is an essential fatty acid. The Burrs surmise that other unsaturated fatty acids are essential and subsequently demonstrate that linolenic acid, the omega-3 fatty acid analog of linoleic acid, is also an essential fatty acid.[2][96][25][84] United States
1929 Scientific development Isomerization Isomerization during hydrogenation is reported.[1]
1930 Industrial development Margarine The votator is patented. It is used for the continuous manufacture of margarine.[1]
1930 Scientific development Prostaglandin Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) Gynecologists working with artificial insemination report that extracts of seminal fluid cause uterine tissue to contract. This observation leads to the discovery of the important cell messengers called prostaglandins,[25] which are first isolated from the prostate gland of sheep, from which they are given the name.[68]
1931 Scientific development X-ray crystallography X-ray diffraction is first used for fatty acids.[1]
1931 Industrial development Fat-splitting Continuous fat-splitting is patented.[1]
1931 Industrial development Edible oil Henry Ford plants 500 acres of soybeans in Dearborn, Michigan. After the Second World War, and after soybean production takes off, the United States would be able to export edible oils.[25] United States
1932 Industrial development Spry vegetable shortening Spry vegetable shortening is introduced by Lever Brothers.[1]
1933 Scientific development Gadoleic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−11)) M.Takano clarifies the structure of gadoleic acid.[69]
1933 Industrial development Fatty acid distillation Distillation of fatty acids is patented.[1]
1933 Industrial development Shortening Procter & Gamble implements a significant change for shortenings, adding mono- and diglycerides, which dramatically improves the performance of baking shortenings. This improvement is tempered somewhat for household shortenings because of the required all-purpose performance.[76]
1933 Industrial development Shortening Superglycerinated high-ratio shortenings are introduced. This would bring significant changes for the baker and the shortening industry. These shortenings contain mono- and diglycerides, which contribute to a finer dispersion of fat particles in cake batters, causing a greater number of smaller-sized fat globules that strengthen the batters.[76][1]
1934 Scientific development Oleic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−9)) Oleic acid is synthesized for the first time by C.R. Noller et al.[42] Today, studies suggest that oleic acid reduces inflammation and may even have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.[97]
1934 Industrial development Oil seed–crushing The first continuous countercurrent solvent extraction plant in the United States is opened by Archer Daniels Midland Company. The plant uses hexane as the solvent and a 100-tons-per-day Hildebrandt extractor from Germany. By the late 1940s, much of the oil seed–crushing industry would evolove from screw presses to far more efficient solvent extraction.[25] United States
1934 Scientific development Centrifugal refining Centrifugal refining is introduced.[1]
1936 Industrial development Fatty acid distillation Distillation of fatty acids is patented.[1]
1936 Industrial development Shortening Primex shortening is marketed.[1] An all-purpose shortening with a neutral flavor and buttery appearance, it is used for donut frying, pie doughs, cookies, and other bakery applications.[98]
1937 Scientific development Linoleic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) Conjugation of linoleic acid by alkali is obtained.[1]
1938 Scientific development Linoleic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) George and Mildred Burr are unable to prove that linoleic acid is essential for humans. This question would remain unresolved until the 1960s.[25]
1938 Scientific development Monoglyceride, diglyceride The first U.S. patents for mono- and diglycerides is granted.[71] United States
1938 Scientific development Santalbic acid Santalbic acid is first discovered in the seeds of Santalum album.[66][99]
1939 Scientific development Linoleic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) The exact structure of linoleic acid is clarified by English chemist Thomas Percy Hilditch et al.[51] United Kingdom
1940 Industrial development Fatty acid M.F. Bengen first describes the technique of formation of crystalline urea fatty acid complexes, which today is a well-known technique to fractionate fatty acids and is used to separate straight chain compounds found in milk.[66][100] Germany
1940 Industrial development Fatty amines/nitriles Fatty amines/nitriles are patented.[1]
1940 Literature Oil (chemical analysis) Thomas Percy Hilditch publishes The Chemical Composition of Natural Oils, which would be considered a seminal and influential contribution to chemical analysis of oils.[1]
1945 Literature Oil American chemist Alton E. Bailey publishes Industrial Oil and Fat Products.[1] United States
1945 Scientific development Fatty acid displacement analysis Displacement analysis for fatty acids is reported.[1]
1945 Scientific development Fatty acid oxidation Relative rates of fatty acid oxidation is reported.[1]
1947 Literature Natural fat Thomas Percy Hilditch publishes The chemical constitution of natural fats, which would become famous. Hilditch claims that “unanimity has not yet been reached in the terminology to be adopted in classifying the various types of naturally occurring compounds in which fatty acids are present … even a collective title for the whole group is not completely settled“.[24] United Kingdom
1947 Industrial development Shortening Swiftning shortening is marketed.[1]
1948 Industrial development Fat interesterification Directed interesterification is reported.[1] This process would be put into successful factory use on lard shortenings. Directed interesterification increases the fraction of high melting solids (trisaturated glycerides) and decreases the fraction of intermediate melting glycerides (disaturated glycerides) in lard.[101]
1950 Market trend Western pattern diet A broad dietary shift from animal fats begins, favoring liquid oil products. U.S. consumers become increasingly aware of the role of fats and oils in coronary disease, and start replacing solid shortenings with liquid oils.[76] United States
1950 Scientific development Obesity Genetically obese mice are first described.[102]
1950 Scientific development Fat melting/solidification Bailey publishes melting and solidification of fats.[1]
1950 Scientific development Linoleic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) American biochemist Ralph Holman and a graduate student discover that linoleic acid is the precursor of arachidonic acid and that alpha-Linolenic acid is the precursor of docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid.[25] United States
1950 Scientific development Mycolic acid Asselineau and Lederer describe the first structure of mycolic acids as α-branched, β-hydroxylated long-chain fatty acids, a feature that confers to the molecule the property to be cleaved at high temperature into a "mero"aldehyde main chain, also called "meromycolic" chain, and a "fatty acid", a reaction similar to a reverse Claisen type condensation.[103][104]
1950 Scientific development Linoleic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) Linoleic acid is synthesized by British chemist Ralph Raphael and German-born British chemist Franz Sondheimer.[51] United Kingdom
1950–1970 Market trend Edible vegetable oils In 1950, the food fat marketed in the United States is split approximately equally between animal fats (lard, tallow and butter) and edible vegetable oils. By 1970, edible vegetable oils would account for three-fourths of the total and animal fats only one-fourth.[105] United States
1951 Scientific development Chromatography English scientists Archer Martin and A. J. James perfect the first gas-liquid chromatograph, a powerful analytical and purification tool that enables scientists to separate the many different fatty acids in tissues and foods. For this work, they are later awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1952.[25][1] United Kingdom
1951 Scientific development Linolenic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Herbert Dutton proves that linolenic acid is the cause of the off flavors and odors in soybean oil. This would lead to the expanded use of partial or selective hydrogenation to eliminate this fat.[25]
1952 Scientific development Eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) An early epidemiological study conducted in Norway finds a lower incidence of multiple sclerosis in coastal communities with a high consumption of fish (high eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid intakes) compared to communities with a high consumption of animal fat.[71] Norway
1953 Scientific development Sterol The plasma cholesterol-lowering properties of plant sterols are described by Pollak.[106]
1953 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease Ancel Keys publishes a chart which directly correlates the incidence of heart disease with the total fat intake of a population.[25]
1955 Scientific development Triglyceride Synthesis of mixed acid triglyceride is introduced.[1]
1955 Scientific development Trans fat source Trans fat Trans fatty acids are found to be naturally present in ruminants but not nonruminants.[25]
1955 Industrial development Shortening Golden Fluffo shortening is marketed.[1]
1956 Scientific development Fat distribution French physician Jean Vague becomes the first to show the importance of fat distribution in relation to various diseases, describing what he terms ‘android’ and ‘gynoid’ types of obesity.[107] France
1956 Scientific development Chromatography Stahl advances thin-layer chromatography.[1]
1956 Scientific development alpha-Linolenic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) alpha-Linolenic acid is synthesized by Nigama and Weedon.[64] This fatty acid has an antithrombotic effect. It has a role as a micronutrient, a nutraceutical and a mouse metabolite.[108]
1957 Scientific development Lipid Kummerow and colleagues[109] find that lipid extracts of tissue specimens from 24 human subjects who died of heart disease contain ≤12.2% trans fatty acids in their adipose tissue, 14.4% in the liver, 9.3% in heart tissue, 8.8% in aortic tissue, and 8.8% in atheroma.[110]
1957 Scientific development Prostaglandin Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) Sune Bergström isolates the first prostaglandins.[25] These are lipid autacoids derived from arachidonic acid.[111]
1957 Industrial development Extrusion Extrusion is developed and patented as a method for microencapsulation of polyunsaturated fatty acid-rich oil emulsions. Extrusion process is found to produce less porous material compared to spray drying; however, it increases production cost as compared to spray drying and use of screw extruders at high pressure are highly detrimental to omega-3 fatty acids.[112]
1958 Scientific development Essential fatty acid deficiency Unsaturated (polyunsaturated Essential fatty acid deficiency in humans is first described by Arild Hansen et al., in infants fed a milk-based formula lacking them.[85]
1959 Scientific development Mead acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−9))[113] James F. Mead at UCLA first identifies what would be named mead acid.[114] United States
1959 Scientific development Microemulsion Microemulsion is first prepared by Hoar and Schulman, by dispersing oil in an aqueous solution of surfactant where alcohol is used as cosurfactant. This forms stable, transparent oil-in-water formulation. The term "microemulsion" is coined by Schulman et al. in this year.[112]
1960 Scientific development Glyceride A theory of glyceride structures is proposed.[1]
1960 Scientific development Trienoic/tetraenoic acid ratio Unsaturated (polyunsaturated) Ralph Holman introduces the concept of the trienoic/tetraenoic acid ratio as an indicator of the severity of essential fatty acid deficiency in rats. He later demonstrates its applicability to other species. A ratio of 0.4 or greater is considered indicaive of EFA deficiency. Later in 1970, Holman would suggest that the upper limit of normality is a ratio of 0.2 for humans.[82][25]
1961 Industrial development Hydrogenation Hydrogenated winterized soybean oil is marketed.[1]
1963 Scientific development Essential fatty acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated) Arild Hansen and colleagues demonstrate for the first time that humans require the dietary intake of certain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that the body is unable to synthesize. These PUFAs are therefore referred to as essential fatty acids.[115]
1963 Policy Fatty acid The Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) is created to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organisation Food Standards Programme. Under the Guidelines for Nutrition Labelling of Codex, trans fatty acids must be declared where the amount and/or type of fatty acids or the amount of cholesterol is declared on a label.[3]
1964 Scientific development Fatty acid Konrad Bloch and Feodor Lynen share the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning some of the mechanisms and methods of regulation of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism.[116]
1964 Literature Fatty acid (chemistry) Klare Markley publishes Fatty acids, an extensive five volume set on the chemistry of fatty acids.[1]
1964 Scientific development Prostaglandin Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) Swedish biochemist Sune Bergström and Dutch chemist David Adriaan van Dorp demonstrate that prostaglandins are made from twenty-carbon fatty acids, such as arachidonic and eicosapentaenoic acid.[25] Thanks to these scientists, fatty acids are found to be the precursors for the synthesis of prostaglandins.[85]
1964 Scientific development Fat classification Unsaturated Ralph Holman proposes a new system for naming the different families of unsaturated fatty acids, the omega system, and hypothesizes that the different families compete for the same elongation and desaturation enzymes.[25]
1965 Scientific development Cholesterol Keys et al. and Hegsted et al. independently develop formulae for predicting changes in cholesterol levels based on changes in the diet. Their formulae are based upon changes in quantity of saturated and unsaturated fat and in dietary cholesterol.[80]
1965 Recommendation Hydrogenated fat The American Heart Association deletes the recommendation to decrease the intake of hydrogenated fats and removes a negative reference to the trans fatty acids. The revised statement encourages the consumption of partially hydrogenated fats.[117] United States
1965 Scientific development Saturated fat, cholesterol Saturated An early study published on the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains the link between saturated fat in the diet and the concentration of cholesterol in the blood.[118][10] United States
1966 Scientific development Monoglyceride Larsson first describes the crystal structure of pure, racemic 1-monoglycerides, which would be later reviewed by Small in 1986 and Larsson in 1994.[119]
1967 Scientific development Omega-3 fatty acid source Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Trout are the first animal to be recognized as requiring omega-3 fatty acids, as those raised with corn oil as the only fat in their diet develop a shock syndrome and suffer a high mortality.[25]
1967 Scientific development Fatty acid Gunstone claims that over 300 fatty acids are known in nature at this time.[70]
1968 Scientific development Saturated fat source Michael Crawford shows that the fats of domestic animals are much more saturated than the fats of wild animals.[25]
1968 Scientific development Saturated monoglyceride Krog and Larsson first publish binary phase diagrams of distilled saturated monoglycerides based on hydrogenated lard.[119]
1969 Industrial development Margarine Trans-free margarine is patented, mentioning Fondu and Willems as its inventors. It describes a hardstock that is obtained by interesterifying palm stearin with a lauric oil. However, neither of these components is hydrogenated, and consequently, the interesterification product contains quite a large proportion of triglycerides that do not contribute to blend consistency but nevertheless introduce saturated fatty acids.[70]
1970 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease Saturated A study analizing populations in seven countries associates diets high in saturated fat intake with cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease.[10][120] This study would be later considered deeply flawed, with more recent consensus favoring saturated fats.[13]
1972 Scientific development Docosahexaenoic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Michael Crawford shows that docosahexaenoic acid is important to brain function.[25]
1972 Scientific development Methyl oleate Self-metathesis of methyl oleate is first reported. It gives dimethyl octadec-9-ene-1,18-dioate and octadec-9-ene as products.[121][66]
1972 Scientific development Fish oil Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Hans Olaf Bang and Jørn Dyerberg report that compared to Danes, Greenland Eskimos have lower levels of heart disease —and of serum cholesterol and triglycerides, despite a diet rich in fat and blubber. This is associated with polyunsaturated fatty acid in fish oil.[25]
1973 Scientific development Prostaglandin Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) American nutritional biochemist William E.M. Lands reports that prostaglandins made from omega-3 fatty acids are much less inflammatory than those made from omega-6 fatty acids, a finding that would lead to the use of fish oil in treating patients with arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, dysmenorrhea, and other inflammatory disorders.[25] United States
1973 Policy Whaling Commercial whaling is banned in the United States. As a result, jojoba oil (a long-chain wax ester) is brought to commercialization as a result of research done at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research.[66] United States
1974 Scientific development Metathesis Van Dam et al. conduct the first successful application of metathesis chemistry to lipids.[1][122]
1975 Policy Saturated fat, polyunsaturated fatty acid, cholesterol Saturated, Unsaturated Guidelines for voluntary nutrition labeling start taking effect in the United States. Foods are labeled on the basis of total, saturated (lauric, myristic, palmitic, and stearic acids), and polyunsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol content. These standards are established based on the observed association between saturated fat intake and risk of cardiovascular disease.[4] United States
1975 Market trend Fat, oil The world market for edible fats and oils surpasses 41 million tons in this year, with products sold for almost 29 billion dollars.[68] Worldwide
1975 Scientific development Docosahexaenoic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Robert Anderson identifies docosahexaenoic acid as a key part of the eye’s photoreceptor.[25]
1976 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease Saturated, trans fat The Nurses' Health Study is incepted as a cohort study following 120,000 female nurses. The researchers would analyze data from 900 coronary events from the study's population during 14 years of followup, and would determine that a nurse's coronary artery disease (CAD) risk roughly doubled (relative risk of 1.93, confidence interval: 1.43 to 2.61) for each 2% increase in trans fat calories consumed (instead of carbohydrate calories). By contrast, for each 5% increase in saturated fat calories (instead of carbohydrate calories) there was a 17% increase in risk (relative risk of 1.17, CI: 0.97 to 1.41). The replacement of saturated fat or trans unsaturated fat by cis (unhydrogenated) unsaturated fats is associated with larger reductions in risk than an isocaloric replacement by carbohydrates.[123] The researchers would also report on the benefits of reducing trans fat consumption. Replacing 2% of food energy from trans fat with non-trans unsaturated fats more than halves the risk of CAD (53%). By comparison, replacing a larger 5% of food energy from saturated fat with non-trans unsaturated fats reduces the risk of CAD by 43%. This study provides the major evidence for the effect of trans fat on coronary artery disease.[123] United States
1976 Scientific development Lipid hypothesis A summary of the lipid hypothesis describes it as: "measures used to lower the plasma lipids in patients with hyperlipidemia will lead to reductions in new events of coronary heart disease".[124]
1977 Recommendation Baby Formula Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω-3, ω-6)) The World Health Organization issues a repport concluding that infant formulas should match the milk from well-nourished mothers with respect both to parent and long-chain fatty acids and to the balance of the omega-6 and omega-3 families.[25]
1977 Recommendation Dietary guideline The first edition of The Dietary Goals for the United States is published in attempts to reduce incidence of diet-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The report suggests Americans should eat less high-fat red meat, eggs, and dairy and more plants and other carbohydrates.[10][125] United States
1977 Industrial development Linoleic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−6)) United States FDA approves of Intralipid, a linoleic acid-rich lipid emulsion made with soybean oil, phospholipids, and glycerol. This marks the beginning of parenteral use of fats in the United States.[84] United States
1977 Industrial development Enzymatic interesterification Enzymatic interesterification is patented. However, its early use is very limited until later when immobilized enzymes become affordable for large-scale industrial use. Today, enzymatic interesterification is widely used for the production of low-TFA plastic fats for numerous applications.[3]
1978 Scientific development Eicosapentaenoic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) J.Dyerberg et al. suggest that eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 fat, plays a role in the prevention of thrombosis and atherosclerosis.[25][126]
1979 Literature Fatty Acid Everett Pryde publishes Fatty Acids, which covers the fatty acid literature up to date.[1]
1980 Recommendation Dietary guideline Saturated The United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health and Human Services jointly release the first Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These reports emphasize a leading harmful role of saturated fats.[127] United States
1983 Scientific development Ischemic heart disease Researchers show that the concentration of trans 18:1 and 16:1 fatty acids is 6.8% higher in the adipose tissue of individuals who died of ischemic heart disease compared with individuals who died of other causes.[128][129][110]
1984 Recommendation Fat The United Kingdom issues dietary guidelines similar to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued in 1980. Both guidelines recommend reducing overall fat consumption to 30% of total calories, and saturated fat to no more than 10% of calories. These values would remain essentially unchanged in subsequent iterations.[127] United Kingdom
1984 Scientific development Low-density lipoprotein Saturated An article published on Time reports that saturated fat is bad and can lead to high cholesterol and fatal heart attacks, as it tends to raise low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) levels.[10]
1984 Industrial development Oleic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−9)) High-oleic seed is grown commercially in the United States for the first time in North Dakota, California, and Texas.[84] United States
1984–1986 General intake Western pattern diet Trans fat Hunter and Applewhite report an estimate of trans fatty acids available for consumption in the U.S. diet for 1984 of 7.6 g/person/day. A similar value, 8.3 g/person/day, is obtained independently by a Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Review Panel on Trans Fatty Acids.[84]
1985 Recommendation Cholesterol Health organizations begin recommending diet modifications to lower serum cholesterol levels.[76]
1985 Program launch Cholesterol The National Institutes of Health establishes the National Cholesterol Education Program.[130] United States
1985 Scientific development Cholesterol American researchers Michael Stuart Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on genetic causes for high levels of cholesterol in the blood that can lead to heart disease at a young age.[102] United States
1985 General intake Western pattern diet In this year, Americans consume approximately 36%–37% of their calories as fat, which is comprised of 13.2% saturated, 13.8% monounsaturated, and 7.0% polyunsaturated fatty acids.[84] United States
1985 Scientific development Western pattern diet Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω-3, ω-6)) Scientists begin linking an imbalance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to numerous diseases, raising questions about the food supply of Western countries.[25]
1985 Industrial development Canola oil Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Canola oil is granted the status of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the United States FDA, and starts being commercialized in the country.[84] Being high in alpha-Linolenic acid, the parent omega-3, canola oil is associated with good health as would be responsible for a small increase in the omega-3 content in modern western diet in the following decades.[25] United States
1985 Industrial development Microbial oil Microbial oils are introduced into the marketplace. Since then, these would gradually become of increasing importance and value in the niche market of high-value nutraceuticals.[1]
1985 Industrial development Linolenic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) The first single cell oil is launched. This microbial oil is rich in gamma-linolenic acid and is produced using the fungus Mucor circinelloides. This would prompt the appreciation that, with being a novel product, it would have to undergo stringent trials before it could be sold to the general public.[66]
1986 Industrial development Partially hydrogenated oil Saturated McDonald's replaces the saturated fats in some of its products with partially hydrogenated oils, the major source of trans fats.[131]
1986 Scientific development Docosahexaenoic acid Docosahexaenoic acid is discovered in bacteria.[132]
1986 Scientific development Omega‐3 fatty acid sources Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) American endocrinologist Artemis Simopoulos reports that there are more omega-3 fatty acids in leaves than in seeds—and in the leaves of wild plants like purslane than in cultivated plants.[25] United States
1987 Recommendation Cholesterol The report of National Cholesterol Education Program, Adult Treatment Panels suggests the total blood cholesterol level should be: < 200 mg/dL normal blood cholesterol, 200–239 mg/dL borderline-high, > 240 mg/dL high cholesterol.[133]
1987 Scientific development Fish oil Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Leonard Storlien from University of Sydney finds that fish oil prevents insulin resistance and obesity in rats.[25]
1987 Medical development Cholesterol Lovastatin (sold under the brand name Mevacor among others) is approved for medical use.[134] It is used for treating high blood cholesterol and reduceing the risk of cardiovascular disease.[135]
1987 Policy Fish oil (menhaden) Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Federal approval for the use of partially hydrogenated menhaden oil in food products is granted in the United States.[84] United States
1988 Publication Lipid The National Cholesterol Education Program, Adult Treatment Panel I (NCEP–ATP I) develops its first set of guidelines, establishing clear goals for patients with lipid abnormalities.[130] United States
1988 Scientific development Trans fatty acid The first hypotheses are formulated concerning the effect of eating trans fatty acids on risk of coronary diseases.[3]
1989 Scientific development Fish Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) A number of trials reveal the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in preventing death from myocardial infarction. Similar findings report that fish consumption as low as 35 grams per day, or about one serving a week, significantly reduces the risk of myocardial infarction.[25]
1989 Scientific development Baby formula Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Dennis Hoffman first finds significant differences in the visual and mental acuity of infants raised on formulas with and without omega-3 fatty acids.[25]
1989 Medical development Lipid Pravastatin (sold under the brand name Pravachol) is approved for medical use.[136] It is used for treatment of blood lipids.[137]
1990 Policy Fat The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 becomes effective in the United States. It focuses on saturated fat (redefined as all saturated fatty acids) and calls for it to be labeled based on grams per serving and percentage of total energy. The labeling of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids is deemed optional. These standards are based on the association between saturated fat intake and risk of cardiovascular disease, but also on observed associations with certain forms of cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.[4] United States
1990 Scientific development Cholesterol Mensink and Katan demonstrate the plasma cholesterol-raising effect of industrially produced trans-octadecenoic acids in human volunteers.[138]
1990 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease Trans fat A large, well-controlled study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows Conclusively that trans-fatty acids increase total cholesterol and "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL), both of which are correlated with increased cardiovascular disease, disproving manufacturers’ advertising which claims that suggest that margarines can be good for the health of the heart.[68]
1990 Scientific development Trans fat, cholesterol Trans fat A Dutch study reports that the trans fatty acids do have an adverse effect on serum cholesterol.[117] Netherlands
1990 Scientific development Trans fat Trans fat An Institute of Medicine report determines that trans fats have "no deleterious effects" on human health.[131] United States
1990–2020 Statistics Western pattern diet In this period in the United States, the amount of calories from consumed fat falls from 40 percent to 30 percent, while obesity doubles and heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the country. These results would prompt a more favorable consensus toward the role of fats in health.[13] United States
1991 General intake Western pattern diet Trans fat Hunter and Applewhite update their estimate of trans fatty acid availability in the U.S. diet for 1989 to be 8.1 g/person/day.[84] United States
1991 Recommendation Trans fat Trans fat The British Committee on Medical Aspects of Health (COMA) recommends that trans fatty acids be limited to 2% of the caloric (energy) intake.[117] United Kingdom
1991 Organization Fatty acids, lipids The International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) is founded. With more than 500 members from more than 40 countries, it is the foremost International Scientific Society dealing exclusively with the health impact of dietary lipids.[139]
1992 Medical development Lipid Simvastatin (sold under the brand name Zocor) is approved for medical use.[140] It is a lipid-lowering medication.[141]
1992 Reccomendation Western pattern diet In an effort to combat fats, the United States Department of Agriculture recommends up to 11 servings a day of grains, compared with just two to three servings of meat, eggs, nuts, beans and fish combined. Around this time, school districts across the country ban whole milk, yet sweetened chocolate milk remains on the menu as long as it’s low-fat.[142] United States
1993 Recommendation Partially hydrogenated oil Health advocacy groups start calling for fast food chains to stop frying with partially hydrogenated oil.[9]
1993 Scientific development Lipoprotein Additional evidence for age, gender, and high-density lipoprotein importance emerges, reinforcing the need to address these factors.[130]
1993 Policy Saturated fat, cholesterol Saturated The United States FDA requires that saturated fat and cholesterol be listed on food labels.[9] United States
1994 Statistics Cardiovascular disease Trans fat A study estimates that over 30,000 cardiac deaths per year in the United States are attributable to the consumption of trans fats.[143]
1994 Medical development Cholesterol Fluvastatin is introduced for medical use.[144] This drug lowers the total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemia.[145]
Mid–1990s Industrial development Hydrogenation By this time, approximately 25 million tons of fats, oils and fatty acids are hydrogenated every year for the food, cosmetics and lubricant industries.[3]
1995 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) American physician Alexander Leaf reports that omega-3 fatty acids also prevent arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death.[25]
1995 General intake Western pattern diet Americans report an average of 25% of daily calories from fats added in food or meal preparation and at the table. As total calories from fat averaged 33% of daily calories, most fats consumed are added at the discretion of food processors, consumers, or preparers rather than naturally occurring.[84] United States
1995–1996 General intake Western pattern diet The European multicentre TRANSFAIR Study is conducted. In it, samples of foods contributing to 95% total fat intake in 14 countries are analyzed centrally for trans-fatty acid content. Among the hydrogenated products, oils and fats are the main contributors (35%) followed by biscuits and cakes (16.5%). As for the biohydrogenated products, dairy products provide 18.8% of the total trans-fatty acids, while meat and meat products contribute 10.3% and butter another 5.9%. Overall, approximately, two-thirds of TFA in European diets are from foods with PHVO, while the remaining one-third is from natural food sources. Thus, in general, Europeans consume a lower proportion of TFA from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils compared with North Americans (∼80%).[70]
1996 Literature Lipid, fatty acid F. D Gunstone publishes Fatty acid and lipid chemistry.[146]
1996 Scientific development Fatty acid Gunstone estimates the existence of over 1000 fatty acids at this time, compared to 300 in 1967.[70]
1996 Medical development Triglyceride, cholesterol Atorvastatin (sold under the brand name Lipitor) is approved for medical use in the United States. This drug reduces levels of triglycerides and harmful low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood and increases levels of beneficial high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.[147] United States
1996 Scientific development Sterol Mellanen et al. suggest that plant sterols may be oestrogenic.[106][148] Finland (University of Turku)
1997 Industrial development Omega-3 eggs Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Commercial omega-3 eggs are first introduced to the public.[112]
1997 Statistics Fat The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that fat consumption by humans in the United States can exceed 100 g/day.[149] United States
1998 Literature Fat Caroline M. Pond publishes The Fats of Life.[150]
1999 Scientific development Mental health Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Joe Hibbeln and Andrew Stoll independently report an inverse correlation between omega-3 fatty acid consumption and the incidence of depression and that fish oil reduces episodes of mania and depression in patients with bipolar disorder.[25] United States
1999 Recommendation Cholesterol, saturated fat Saturated An article published on Time, intolerant towards saturated fats, suggests that cholesterol is "okay", but saturated fat is dangerous. The article reads as follows: "Eat eggs. But beware saturated fat: it may be a bigger threat to the heart and blood vessels than cholesterol."[10]
1999 Scientific development Metabolism Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω-3, ω-6)) Tony Hulbert and Paul Else publish data indicating that the degree of unsaturation of an animal’s membranes, a function, in part, of the dietary intake of omega-3s and omega-6s, is the pacemaker of that animal’s metabolism. This discovery creates a new way of looking at the role that greens and seeds play in human health and a framework on which to hang all the other findings about omega-3s.[25]
1999 Recommendation Docosahexaenoic acid An expert panel including the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL), the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health, and the Center for Genetics, Nutrition, and Health, is convened to formulate recommendations for dietary intakes of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The recommendation for docosahexaenoic acid during pregnancy put forward by the expert panel is 200 mg/day[151]. In addition, the panel recommends 2.22 g/day of linolenic acid for all adults, and an upper limit was established for linoleic acid of 6.67 g/day.[152]
2000 Statistics Oils, fats The global consumption of oils and fats ia 116.4 million tons. The largest volumes are for soybean oil (26.4 mt), palm oil (22.8 mt), rape seed oil (14.5 mt) and sunflower oil (9.4 mt).[153] Worldwide
2001 Scientific development Diabetes Trans fat One study finds that risk of diabetes is higher for those in the highest quartile of trans fat consumption.[154]
2001 Scientific development Docosahexaenoic acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Jeffrey et al.[155] (later Hoffman et al. in 2009[156]) report on docosahexaenoic acid as exerting several roles in the visual system from photoreceptor differentiation to synaptic plasticity in a series of events leading to a direct influence on visual acuity.[152]
2002 Scientific development Mental health Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) Ki Shuk Shim and G. Lubec postulate several mechanisms for the possible protective role of omega-3 fatty acids in dementia.[157] The brain is particularly rich in fatty acids.[152]
2002 Scientific development α-linolenic acid Burdge et al. attempt to disprove the essentiality of α-linolenic acid by showing that 33% of a labeled dose given to a human was exhaled as CO2 in the first 24 h.[84]
2002 Recommendation Monounsaturated fat, Polyunsaturated fat The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies releases the 'Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein and Amino Acids'. The report brief indicates that "monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce blood cholesterol concentration and help lower the risk of heart disease when they replace saturated fatty acids in the diet".[158] It also recommends that the consumption of trans fatty acids be as low as possible.[7] United States
2003 Recommendation Saturated fatty acid Saturated A report by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recommends limiting the saturated fatty acids to less than 10% of daily energy intake and less than 7% for high-risk groups.[159]
2003 Scientific development Breast cancer Saturated A meta-analysis finds a significant positive relationship between saturated fat and breast cancer.[160]
2003 Scientific development Cholesteryl ester Trans fat A randomized crossover study comparing the effect of eating a meal on blood lipids of (relatively) cis and trans-fat-rich meals shows that cholesteryl ester transfer (CET) is 28% higher after the trans meal than after the cis meal and that lipoprotein concentrations are enriched in apolipoprotein(a) after the trans meals.[161]
2003 Scientific development Alzheimer disease Saturated, trans fat A study published in Archives of Neurology suggests that the intake of both trans fats and saturated fats promotes the development of Alzheimer disease.[162]
2003 General intake Western pattern diet In the United States, 81.3% of total edible fats and oils consumed comprise vegetable oils, an increase from 56.7% in 1965.[70] United States
2003 Policy Trans fat (industrially-produced) Trans fat Denmark pioneers the banning of industrially-produced trans fats in food.[163] The food regulatory agency of that country bans the use of all hydrogenated fats from food products, but at the same time made an explicit exception allowing the use of animal fats containing natural trans fatty acids as these were viewed as chemically different.[3] Denmark
2003 Medical development Cholesterol, triglyceride Pitavastatin is approved for medical use.[164] It is used for lowing blood total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides.[165]
2003 Medical development Triglyceride, cholesterol Lipitor becomes the best-selling pharmaceutical in history.[166]
2003 Policy Trans-fat United States FDA rules that the amount of trans-fat in a food item must be stated on the label after January 1, 2006. Food items could be labeled 0% trans if they contain less than 0.5 g per serving.[66] United States
2004 Scientific development Saturated fat Saturated A review concludes that "no lower safe limit of specific saturated fatty acid intakes has been identified" and recommends that the influence of varying saturated fatty acid intakes against a background of different individual lifestyles and genetic backgrounds should be the focus in future studies.[167]
2004 Recommendation Cardiovascular disease Trans fat The European Food Safety Authority produces a scientific opinion on trans fatty acids, surmising that "higher intakes of TFA may increase risk for coronary heart disease.[168]
2004 Literature Oil, fat F. D. Gunstone publishes The Chemistry of Oils and Fats: Sources, Composition, Properties, and Uses.[169]
2004 Policy Phytosterol, phytostanol The European Union Commission publishes Regulation 608/2004/EC concerning the labelling of foods and food ingredients with added phytosterols, phytosterol esters, phytostanols and/or phytostanol esters, requiring such products to be labelled with additional information including the words “with added plant sterols/plant stanols”.[106]
2004–2005 Industrial development Fat and oil production World production of fats and oil is about 137 million metric tons in this period. At the same time, the consumption of oil is forecast to be 138 MMTs. Palm oil overtakes soybean oil for the first time in worldwide production.[84] Worldwide
2004–2005 Scientific development Western pattern diet Trans fat An analysis of samples of McDonald's French fries collected finds that fries served in New York City contain twice as much trans fat as in Hungary, and 28 times as much as in Denmark, where trans fats are restricted. For Kentucky Fried Chicken products, the pattern is reversed: the Hungarian product containing twice the trans fat of the New York product. Even within the United States, there is variation, with fries in New York containing 30% more trans fat than those from Atlanta.[170]
2005 Scientific development Bone density Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω-3, ω-6)) The influence of the ω-6/ω-3 ratio upon bone mineral density in elderly adults is assessed by Weiss et al. An increase in the ratio is seen to be significantly and independently correlated with increased bone mineral density of the hip in all participating women, and of the spine in women receiving hormone therapy. Similar results would be obtained in other studies.[115][171][172]
2005 Scientific development Metathesis Yves Chauvin, Robert H. Grubbs, and Richard R. Schrock are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their pioneering work in metathesis catalyst development (Grubbs and Schrock) and elucidation of the reaction mechanism (Chauvin).[66]
2006 (January 1) Policy Label Trans fat The first direct regulation of trans fat by the United States FDA is a requirement that it be labeled in amounts above 0.5g per serving, which takes effect on January 1.[173] United States
2006 Research Bone density Saturated A study indicates that the intake of saturated fat has a negative effect on the mineral density of bones. The study suggests that men may be particularly vulnerable.[174]
2006 Policy Trans fat (artificial) Trans fat New York City passes a law banning artificial trans fats in all restaurant foods.[8] United States
2006 Policy Trans fat Trans fat Argentina starts requiring trans fat content labeling.[175] Argentina
2006 Scientific development Shortening Trans fat An analysis of some industrialized foods finds up to 30% "trans fats" in artificial shortening, 10% in breads and cake products, 8% in cookies and crackers, 4% in salty snacks, 7% in cake frostings and sweets, and 26% in margarine and other processed spreads.[176]
2006 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease Trans fat A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that, for every 2 percent of calorie intake that comes from trans fats, a person's heart disease risk increases by 23 percent.[177]
2007 Scientific development Palm oil Interesterified A study funded by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board[178] claims that replacing natural palm oil by other interesterified or partial hydrogenated fats cause adverse health effects, such as higher LDL/HDL ratio and plasma glucose levels. However, these effects could be attributed to the higher percentage of saturated acids in the IE and partially hydrogenated fats, rather than to the IE process itself.[179][180]
2007 Scientific development Phytosterol P.G. Bradford and A.B. Awad claim a cancer-protective effect for phytosterols in humans.[106][181] United States
2007 Scientific development Infertility Trans fat A study finds that each 2% increase in the intake of energy from trans unsaturated fats, as opposed to that from carbohydrates, is associated with a 73% greater risk of ovulatory infertility.[182]
2007 Program launch Cardiovascular disease Trans fat The American Heart Association launches its "Face the Fats" campaign to help educate the public about the negative effects of trans fats.[183] United States
2008 Scientific development Plant sterol The European Food Safety Authority judges that the available scientific evidence justifying the claim that plant sterols lower/reduce blood cholesterol, and that blood cholesterol lowering may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.[106]
2008 Recommendation Type 2 diabetes The American Diabetes Association recommends low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets for weight management in patients with established type 2 diabetes, while the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids is not specified.[184] United States
2008 Policy Trans fat Trans fat Switzerland bans trans fats.[185] Switzerland
2008 Policy Trans fat Trans fat Calgary becomes the first city in Canada to ban trans fats from restaurants and fast-food chains.[186] Canada
2008 Scientific development Palmitoleic acid Unsaturated (monounsaturated (ω−7)) Researchers at Harvard University discover that the palmitoleic acid in omega-7 fatty acid acts like a hormone in the human body, rather than a protein, and is what the weight loss factor is attributed to; it's this part of the amino acid that fights against obesity and its related diseases and conditions.[187][188] United States
2008 Scientific development Weight loss A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looking at more than 300 subjects who tried either a low-fat, a low-carb or a Mediterranean diet, finds that people on the low-fat diet lost less weight than those on the low-carb or Mediterranean diet, both of which feature high amounts of fat. These results match multiple other studies having found that it’s very difficult to lose weight on a very low-fat diet, possibly because fat and meat can produce a sense of satiety that’s harder to achieve with carbs, making it easier to simply stop eating.[142]
2009 Literature Oil, fat Frank Gunstone publishes Oils and Fats in the Food Industry.[189]
2009 Scientific development Asthma Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω-3, ω-6)) Artemis P. Simopoulos suggests that a ω-6/ω-3 ratio of 5:1 exerts beneficial effects upon asthma, while a ratio of 10:1 has adverse effects.[190][115]
2010 Recommendation Cardiovacsular disease, obesity Saturated, Unsaturated A conference of the American Dietetic Association takes place, at which concerns are expressed that a blanket recommendation to avoid saturated fats could drive people to also reduce the amount of polyunsaturated fats, which may have health benefits, and/or replace fats by refined carbohydrates — which carry a high risk of obesity and heart disease.[191] United States
2010 (April 15) Recommendation Trans fat Trans fat A British Medical Journal editorial calls for trans fats to be "virtually eliminated in the United Kingdom by next year".[192] United Kingdom
2010 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease Saturated An evaluation of 21 studies and 350,000 subjects finds that saturated fat is not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.[13] The meta-analysis concludes that there is no significant evidence that saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.[142]
2010 General intake Western pattern diet Trans fat According to the FDA, the average American consumes 5.8 grams of trans fat per day (2.6% of energy intake).[193] United States
2011 Scientific development Triglyceride The American Heart Association's scientific statement says triglyceride is not a direct cause of atherosclerosis but it is a marker of cardiovascular disease risk.[194][195] United States
2011 Recommendation Cardiovascular disease A study by heart researchers suggest people focus on eating high-quality food instead of particular fat quantities.[196]
2012 Recommendation Industrially produced trans fatty acid Trans fat The Conseil Supérieur de la Santé in Belgium publishes a science-policy advisory report on industrially produced trans fatty acids that focuses on the general population. Its recommendation to the legislature is to prohibit more than 2 g of trans fatty acids per 100 g of fat in food products.[197] Belgium
2012 Scientific development Mental health Trans fat An observational analysis of subjects of an earlier study finds a strong relation between dietary trans fat acids and self-reported behavioral aggression and irritability, suggesting but not establishing causality.[198]
2013 Scientific development Industrial trans fatty acid Trans fat A team of Dutch scientists confidently write that "the detrimental effects of industrial trans fatty acids on heart health are beyond dispute".[131] Netherlands
2013 (late year) Policy Oil (hydrogenated) The United States FDA announces plans to remove partially hydrogenated oils from the list of generally regarded as safe (GRAS).[66] United States
2014 (March) Scientific development Cardiovascular disease Saturated An article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that eating less saturated fat doesn’t actually lower a person’s risk for heart disease. The study concludes that the evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.[199][200]
2014 (July 23) Recommendation Sugar An article published on Time reports on an excesive focus on fats and suggests a turn into a focus on the harmful effect of sugar. The article reads: "Now it's becoming clear that even the saturated fat found in a medium-rare steak or a slab of butter has a more complex and, in some cases, benign effect on the body than previously thought. ... New research suggests that it's the overconsumption of carbohydrates, sugar and sweeteners that is chiefly responsible for the epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes."[10]
2014 Scientific development Butter Saturated New York Times food writer Mark Bittman writes article titled Butter is back, which goes through the research on how saturated fat isn't nearly as harmful as it was thought and argues that artificial foods (like margarine) should be ditched in favor of natural foods (like butter).[10][201]
2014 Policy Fat Certification mark It becomes obligatory in Israel to mark food products with more than 2% of fat by weight.[202] Israel
2014 Policy Vegetable oil From December, all food products produced in the European Union are legally required to indicate the specific vegetable oil used in their manufacture, following the introduction of the Food Information to Consumers Regulation.[203] European Union
2015 Recommendation Cholesterol, saturated fat The United States Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) recommends that Americans eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible, because most foods that are rich in cholesterol are also high in saturated fat and thereby may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.[204][205][10] United States
2015 Recommendation Partially hydrogenated oil The Food and Drug Administration Trusted Source states that partially hydrogenated oil is not safe, and removing it from food could prevent thousands of heart attacks each year.[206] United States
2015 Policy Artificial trans-fat Trans fat The Food and Drug Administration decides that artificial trans-fat must be removed from the food supply in United States over the next 3 years because of health concern. However, all trans-fat would not be eliminated because those which occur naturally in meat and dairy products would still be permitted. FDA also agrees that small amount of TFAs produced during commercial refining can remain.[66] United States
2015 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease Saturated A review by British international charitable organization Cochrane of long-term randomized controlled trials on saturated fat, finds that reducing one's saturated fat intake can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but it depends on what food is being replaced with, as people who replace saturated fat with unsaturated fat got the most benefit.[10][207] United Kingdom
2015 Recommendation Trans fat Trans fat The Food and Drug Administration Trusted Source declares that trans fat is not “generally recognized as safe” and has to be phased out by 2018.[206] United States
2015 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease A study published on The BMJ re-evaluating the traditional diet-heart hypothesis concludes that replacing poly-unsaturated fat with saturated fat does not seem to reduce the risk of mortality.[10][208]
2015 Scientific development Western pattern diet Unsaturated (polyunsaturated (ω−3)) According to a study, trans fats are one of several components of Western pattern diets which promote acne, along with carbohydrates with high glycemic load such as refined sugars or refined starches, milk and dairy products, and saturated fats, while omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce acne, are deficient in Western pattern diets.[209]
2015 Scientific development Mental health Trans fat A study argues that "greater dietary trans fatty acid consumption is linked to worse word memory in adults during years of high productivity, adults age <45".[210]
2015 Scientific development Weight loss A stury published on The Lancet analizing the effect of low-fat diet interventions versus other diet interventions on long-term weight change in adults, concludes that people on low-fat diets don't lose more weight.[10][211]
2016 Literature Fat Michelle Phillipov publishes Fats: A Global History.[212]
2017 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease Unsaturated (polyunsaturated) A review by the American Heart Association estimates that replacement of saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat in the American diet could reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 30%.[213] United States
2017 Policy Trans fat Trans fat Health Canada announces complete ban of trans fats in the country.[214] Canada
2018 Program launch Cardiovascular disease Trans fat The World Health Organization launches a plan to eliminate trans fat from the global food supply. They estimate that trans fat leads to more than 500,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease yearly.[215]
2018 Statistics Energy homeostasis Trans fat The 2018 Dutch Nutrition Survey reports that in this year, trans fatty acids only provided ∼0.3% of the daily energy requirement, as opposed to 5–10% several decades ago.[110]
2018 Literature Fat Vinood B. Patel publishes The Molecular Nutrition of Fats, which presents the nutritional and molecular aspects of fats by assessing their dietary components, their structural and metabolic effects on the cell, and their role in health and disease.[216]
2019 Policy Partially-hydrogenated oil The Ministry of Health of Singapore announces that partially-hydrogenated oils (PHOs) will be banned.[217] Singapore
2020 Policy Trans fat Trans fat The Saudi Minister of Health announces the ban of trans fat in all food products in the country due to their health risks.[218] Saudi Arabia
2020 (August 19) Policy Trans fat Trans fat The President of Romania promulgates a law that limits trans fats to 2 grams per every 100 grams of fat, max. The food producers not conforming would be fined with a sum ranging between 10,000 and 30,000 lei.[219][220] Romania
2021 (January 20) Scientific development Saturated fat Saturated Michael Easter publishes an article prominently featuring Harvard professor Walter Willett, who discusses his research, the challenges of conducting large-scale and rigorous nutrition studies, and his critics. Willett notes that his studies have consistently shown that when it comes to heart disease, saturated fats—which are found primarily in meat and dairy products—aren’t necessarily bad but they’re not necessarily good.[221][222] United States
2021 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease Saturated A review finds that diets high in saturated fat are associated with higher mortality from all-causes and cardiovascular disease.[223]
2021 Policy Trans fat (industrial) Trans fat Foods in the EU intended for consumers are required to contain less than 2g of industrial trans fat per 100g of fat.[224]
2021 Scientific development Cardiovascular disease An observational study involving 10,529 incident coronary heart disease (CHD) cases and a random subcohort of 16,730 adults selected from a cohort of 385,747 participants in 9 countries finds no strong associations of total fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, with incident coronary heart disease. By contrast, the researchers find associations of saturated fatty acids with coronary heart disease in opposite directions dependent on the food source.[225] United States
2025 Market trend Fatty acid Unsaturated (polyunsaturated) The polyunsaturated fatty acids Market is forecast to reach US$10.59 billion by this year, due to growing popularity.[226]

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