Fatty Acids in Foods and their Health Implications edited by Ching Kuang Chow


At well over twelve hundred pages, Fatty Acids in Foods and their Health Implications should not be considered light reading. Each chapter is written by a different author or group of authors (with some contributing more than one chapter), resulting in some minor differences in writing style.

Subject Matter

The scope of the book is wide, covering all major food groups and the common degenerative diseases, while also providing detailed analysis of several aspects of fatty acid (FA) biochemistry and physiology. The book is probably unique because of the comprehensive manner in which it interweaves these three important areas of knowledge. Food processing and preparation (cooking) are also covered.


Chia seeds and sacha inchi seed oil, both very valuable from an omega 3 perspective, are not mentioned in the book. Whereas linseed oil (flax) is included in Chapter 10, which is concerned with oilseeds, chia would have been excluded on the basis that the seeds are not usually converted to oil, and sacha inchi because it is not widely used.

Data Highlights

Many tables are given showing the FA composition of foods. The numbers are taken from a wide variety of sources, including the USDA database and scientific research studies performed, in some cases, by the contributing authors (e.g. Enser for the FA composition of meats).


This book is no doubt primarily aimed at university students, medical professionals and health industry practitioners. Several of the chapters are very technical, but these generally offer a more accessible summary of the theme either at the beginning or the end.


This is an essential textbook for serious students of FA and their impact on our health. It requires a significant investment of time and effort on behalf of the reader, but such input would be well rewarded.

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