2256.     MEYER-DOERING, H. H.  [Is the Use of Synthetic Fatty Acids for Food Dangerous?]  Klin. Wochschr., vol. 27, 1949, p. 113-116; Chim. et ind., vol. 63, 1950, p. 159; Chem. Abs., vol. 44, 1950, p. 4161.

        Paraffinic products obtained by the Fischer-Tropsch process can be partly converted into fatty acids by oxidation in presence of appropriate catalysts such as Mn and Co.  A mixture of fatty acids is obtained containing 55% of products having more than 10 C atoms, 20-25% with less than 10 C atoms, of which 50% are HCOOH, CH3COOH, and CH3CH2COOH, besides esters, anhydrides, iactones, ketones, etc.  The mixture is saponified by soda, and the C10-C23 acids are precipitated and separated from the unsaponifiable constituents by distillation and esterified to fatty acids with glycerin.  It would seem that such acids would not be free from danger.  In fact they may contain isoacids, which have a marked toxic action.  The presence of dicarboxylic acids may likewise cause trouble, as well as the synthetic or fermentation glycerin used for the esterification.  It appears then that the use of artificial fats must be considered dangerous.  The following considerations are against the use of synthetic fats for food:  (1) There is no published procedure for the determination of isofatty acids, certain of which are definitely toxic; (2) there is no specific method for determining dibasic acids in fats; (3) the many animal experiments that have been cited do not prove the harmlessness of the fats, unsuitable experimental animals were used, the experiments were too short, and improper methods were used for studying liver or kidney damage; (4) there is an increase in excretion of dibasic acids, a strong acidity of the urine, and the possibility of kidney damage in human subjects; (5) in human experiments with synthetic fats, their harmlessness was not shown since the experiments were too short, not enough chemical methods were used, and common clinical methods were often neglected; (6) the metabolism of the odd-numbered fatty acids is still not clear.

        MEYERSON, S.  See abs. 2754a, 3618.