Q. 494.2( 9 Votes )

Name the reaction which is commonly used in the conversion of vegetable oils to fats. Explain the reaction involved in detail.

Answer :

The reaction which is commonly used in the conversion of vegetable oils to fats is called hydrogenation reaction. During this reaction, hydrogen is added to unsaturated hydrocarbons. This is an addition reaction which takes place in the presence of catalyst such as palladium or nickel. Catalysts are compounds that increase the rate of a reaction without being used up during the process. When the hydrogen molecule reacts with an unsaturated hydrocarbon, double bond changes to a single bond. This can be shown by following equation.

A simple hydrogenation reaction can be represented as:


alkene + hydrogen = alkane

Vegetable oils are commonly called polyunsaturated because there are several double bonds in it. Vegetable oils may be converted from liquids to solids by the hydrogenation reaction. Hydrogenated fats and oils are common ingredients in many foods. They are used to extend the longevity of a food item and retain the food flavor for a longer time.

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