Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


Silvana Martini


Marie K. Walsh

Third Advisor:

Donald J. McMahon


The process of partial hydrogenation produces trans fats and the fats that undergo this process are called partially hydrogenated fats (PHF). Clinical studies have shown a strong association between PHF and coronary heart diseases. In 2015 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration removed the Generally recognized as safe or "GRAS" status of PHF. These fats were used in confectionary, margarines, shortenings, doughnuts, cookies, cakes, etc. The PHF serve a function in food by providing a higher shelf life and a desired harder structure due to their higher melting point. Hence, the food industry is currently looking for PHF alternatives which serve the function but have no harmful health effects. One of the alternatives to replace PHF is to use interesterified fats that have a low level of saturation that makes them healthier. However, these new fats are too soft with restricted use in many food applications. In this study, we explored the use of high intensity ultrasound (HIU) to improve the functional properties of interesterified fats and make them harder. Our study showed that HIU formed small crystals in these fats and increased their viscosity. The results from this study on the flavor release from the interesterified fats showed that the physical structure and hence the amount of solid fat in the sample affected its flavor perception. The solid fats had higher flavor perception than the liquid fat samples. The goal of this study is to improve the functionality of the interesterified fats using HIU and understand the flavor release from these fats to make substitution in food products easier.