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Re: Nickel catalyst in Food Hydrogenation


Here's a P2 recommendation with a decided health benefit. Invite them to no
longer dehydrogenate it.

First, it will avoid the nickel and avoid the disposal issue.

Second, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are undigestable. They rattle
around in our bodies because the molecular structure is one that humans
have not yet learned how to metabolize. What the long term health effects
are is, as far as I know, currently unknown and was for certain 3 or 4
years ago. The problem has to do with the dehydrogenation process creating
the "trans" version of a molecule, a version that is not found in nature.
Since our bodies had not previously had to deal with this variant before we
invented the dehydrogenation process, our bodies never learned how to
"burn" it. This is a problem that happens at the cellular level. Stomach
acids can't break it down. Enzymes don't phase it either. Many of these
molecules are small enough to pass through stomach and intestinal linings
and into the blood stream where they are delivered to tissues as an
intended food source. But since the cells can't break it down, it floats
around in the cells and tissues getting in the way of legitimate food
molecules and perhaps cellular function. Weeks or months after competing
molecules have long been turned into carbon dioxide and water, these
molecules are only just starting to disappear-and probably through
elimination, not metabolism.

So again, tell them to forget the hydrogenation process and provide
unhydrogenated oils to their customers-oils that humans have been digesting
successfully for thousands of years.

You will have done the environment and humankind a big service if you can
convince them to change.

And, by the way, when you buy cooking oils or foods made with oils, look at
the label for the term "partially hydrogenated". If it's there, kindly
place the product back on the shelf. You will again be doing the
environment, humankind and more importantly, you, a big favor...if no one
buys this stuff, no one will make it either...an even better way to solve
the nickel waste problem.


PS: I'm posting this to the listserv to spread the word, to invite others
with information about partially hydrogenated oils to update my several
year old information and to start a listserv debate among those with
information / opinions on the subject. I'll be as interested an anyone else
in having the latest information.

PPS: I'll be at the NPPR conference in Portland next week. Perhaps I'll see
some of you there.


>I have a very process specific question.
>I am working with a vegatable oil manufacturing company.  As part of the
>hydrogenation process they use a nickel catalyst.  This catalyst breaks
>down and eventually needs to be disposed of.
>Is this a common method for vegatable oil dehydrogenation?
>Is anyone aware of an alternative method, with an alternative catalyst?
>If not, what are some techniques for getting the most out of your catalyst?
>Tomas Vinson
>Fax: 512/239-3165
>Phone: 512/239-3182
>Engineering Specialist
>TNRCC - Pollution Prevention
>PO Box 13087
>Austin, Tx 78711-3087