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Most fat in our bodies and in the food we eat is in the form of triglycerides. Triglycerides make up by far the largest proportion of dietary lipids consumed by humans. When triglycerides are broken down free fatty acids are formed. This can occur during the process of rancidity.

There Are Two Main Forms Of Rancidity:

  1. Hydrolytic Rancidity
  2. Oxidative Rancidity

Hydrolytic rancidity involves the breakdown of triglycerides into their component fatty acids and glycerol. These liberated fatty acids can create a rancid odor and off-flavor when released into the air. Deep-fat frying commonly results in hydrolytic rancidity. The EU insists on measuring free fatty acids (measured as: “% free fatty acids” or “acid value”) because their levels indicate the quality and freshness of an oil.

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