The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Monday, 19 April 2010

How is margarine manufactured?

This post features an article which describes how margarine is manufactured and a recipe for cottage pie.

Ever wonder how margarine is manufactured?

Many people probably know it is made by a process called hydrogenation. But few are aware of the details of what goes on during hydrogenation.

Here is a step-by-step description of the hydrogenation process.

How is margarine manufactured: Step 1

Margarine makers start with cheap. poor quality vegetable oils, such as corn, cottonseed, soybeans, safflower seeds and canola.
Real Food: What to Eat and Why

These oils have already turned rancid from being extracted from oil seeds using high temperature and high pressure. Rancid oils are loaded with free radicals that react easily with other molecules, causing cell damage, premature aging and a host of other problems.

The last bit of oil is removed with hexane, a solvent known to cause cancer. Although this hexane subsequent removed, traces of it are inevitably left behind.

Unfit for consumption

Moreover, some of these oils are not suitable for human consumption to begin with.

Cottonseed oil, one of the most popular margarine ingredients, has natural toxins and unrefined cottonseed oil is used as a pesticide. The toxin, gossypol, is removed during refining.

Cottonseed oil also contains far too much Omega-6 fatty acids in relation to Omega 3. While both Omega 6 and Omega 3 are essential fatty acids, an imbalance between the two is widely believed to cause various health problems, including heart disease.

Most experts on the subject believe that a healthy ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is between 1:1 and 1:2. Cotton seed oil, however, has over 50 percent omega 6 and only trace amounts of Omega 3, giving a ratio of 1: several hundred or more.

As cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops, there are also concerns that cottonseed oil may be highly contaminated with pesticide residues. However, insufficient testing has been done.

Canola oil, which is widely touted as the healthiest oil of all, has problems as well. Consumption of Canola has been linked with vitamin E deficiency as well as growth retardation. For this reason, Canola oil is not allowed to be used in the manufacture of infant formula.

The oils used for making margarine are also among the Big Four genetically modified crops – soy, corn, rapeseed / Canola and cotton.

How is margarine manufactured: Step 2

The raw oils for making margarine are steam cleaned. This destroys all the vitamins and antioxidants.

However, the residues of pesticides and solvents – that is, hexane – remain.

How is margarine manufactured: Step 3

The oils are mixed with finely ground nickel, a highly toxic substance that serves as a catalyst for the chemical reaction during the hydrogenation process.

Other catalysts may be used, but these, too, are highly toxic.

How is margarine manufactured: Step 4

The oils are then put under high temperature and pressure in a reactor.

Hydrogen gas is introduced. The high temperature and pressure, together with the presence of nickel catalyst, causes hydrogen atoms to be forced into the oil molecules.

If the oil is partially hydrogenated, it turns from liquid into a semi-solid.

Trans fats are formed during partial hydrogenation. These are fat molecules that have been twisted out of shape. In liquid oils, the molecules are bent, with the hydrogen atoms on opposite sides of each other.

During partial hydrogenation, the molecules are somewhat straightened and now all the hydrogen molecules are on the same side.

If the oil is fully hydrogenated, it turns into a hard solid that cannot be eaten. It no longer contains trans fats because the "out of shape” oil molecules have all been broken up to form straight chains. But this does not mean they have become healthy again because of all the unnatural steps above.

How is margarine manufactured: Step 5

What comes out of the partial hydrogenation process is a smelly, lumpy, grey grease.

To remove the lumps, emulsifiers – which are like soaps – are mixed in.

How is margarine manufactured: Step 6

The oil is steam cleaned (again!) to remove the odor of chemicals. This step is called deodorization and it again involves high temperature and high pressure.

How is margarine manufactured: Step 7

The oil is then bleached to get rid of the grey color.

How is margarine manufactured: Step 8

Synthetic vitamins and artificial flavors are mixed in.

A natural yellow color is added to margarine, as synthetic coloring is not allowed!

In fact, early last century, all coloring was not allowed and margarine was white. This was to protect consumers so that they do not get butter and margarine mixed up.

How is margarine manufactured: Step 9

Finally, the margarine is promoted to the public as a health food – with the full endorsement of many scientists, doctors, nutritionists and health authorities.

This article can be accessed at:

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Recipe of the day

Cottage Pie


2 tbs olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
Contains 10 - 1 lb. Lean Grass Fed Organic Ground Beef
Food Mall: Ground Beef
1 medium sized leek
1 medium sized carrot
1 medium cauliflower
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 egg yolk
2 tbs tomato paste
1 cup beef broth or red wine
2 tbs almond flour
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme

Preheat oven to 400.

Cut leeks into rings and then quarter the rings. Soak in water and then remove. Dry on paper towel. Peel carrot and cut into half lengthwise and then cut each half in half lengthwise so you have 4 sticks. Dice up the sticks. Set aside.

Remove leaves of cauliflower and cut off very bottom. Cut up stem and head into chunks and put with 2 tbs of water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and cook on high for 6 minutes. Drain water and mash with the coconut milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Peel and mince garlic.

Put olive oil in the bottom of a pan and heat to medium high.

Sautee carrots and leeks until leeks become translucent.

Add in ground beef and garlic and brown the beef. Add in the almond flour and stir to thicken.

Add in tomato paste, beef broth, salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir together to make gravy.

Put in a glass baking dish 8 x 8 or 9×9.

Take cooled cauliflower mash and mix in egg yolk. Spoon cauliflower over the top of the meat mix in the dish.

Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until cauliflower starts to brown.

Allow dish to cool for 15 minutes on a rack before serving.