How is margarine made into a solid from the process of hydrogenation?

Expert Answers
djmccormick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would like to add some additional information to the answer already given (to provide some additional information related to your question). In the hydrogenation process oils are heated. Hydrogen is then bubbled through the oil in the presence of a catalyst (such as nickel or platinum). The hydrogen combines with with the carbon and the liquid oils harden. The process creates a new product that has no properties of the original oils. This new product then must be bleached, processed with additives to remove the bad odor it has and add flavor, color, and to add other properties to make this product (margarine) similar to butter.

ang0220 | Student
The process of making margarine begins with oils. Oils are fluid because the molecules contain "kinks" that prevent them from stacking together. These are carbon-carbon double bonds. When hydrogen is added via hydrogenation, the kinks are removed and carbon-carbon single bonds are formed. The molecules stack together much more tightly, and the result is a solid substance.

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